“Before my last date last night, he told me [my] The season was just beginning, and since then, I hit the ball really hard and see how good it is,” Harris said. “So, I guess my season is just beginning.”
Sure enough, Harris picked a good time to start rolling, as his green-goal home run from Adam Ottavino in the eighth inning extended the Braves’ winning streak to four games and gave them eight wins in their last nine home games against the Mets. . It was the third homer and eighth extra base hit of the season.
“He’s going to have a great season,” said Ronald Acuña Jr. through an interpreter. “Things are starting to go his way, and they will continue to go his way.”
The Braves have the best record in the National League (37-24). They have a three-game lead over the second place Marlins, a 7.5-game lead over the Mets and an 8-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East. Capitalizing on Ozuna’s return in May, Atlanta will now hope to start seeing Harris products as he did when he arrived this time last year and still win Jackie Robinson NL Rookie of the Year.
Harris entered the day hitting just . 163 with a 0.490 OPS over 38 games during this injury-marred season. But he came off his first three-hit game and third multi-hit performance of the season with some of that confidence Ozuna stole before Harris generated a 105.4-mile-per-hour streak to leave against Ottavino in the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s win.
“I told him you’re the best center fielder in MLB so you have to believe in yourself,” Ozuna said. “I told him he couldn’t think of anything in the past and he starts the season now. Today, he came in and did it with a good attitude. You can see it on his face.”
The “Money Mike” smile Braves fans saw so often last year got a little bigger when Harris won the final fight against Ottavino. The Mets reliever let a 1-1 cutout over the middle of the plate, and the Braves outfielder holed a 443-foot homer over the center fence. This was the longest homer of his young career.
“When I first hit it, I was like, ‘It just felt right,’” Harris said. “You don’t really feel that when you get to the sweet spot. I just took him on my jog, gave the game a homage and gave Mike my money at the end. “
Money Mike’s 19 home run celebration was seen in Harris’ 414 at-bats last year. This year’s attempt to build on rookie success was slowed by a back injury that sidelined him for three weeks in April. After two games back from the injured list, he tweaked his knee and spent two weeks playing uncomfortably in a shackle knee brace. Now, he was finally starting to look relaxed again.
“I feel like me,” Harris said. “I was just waiting to get results on a night like tonight.”
How frustrating have some of the last days been? Harris went 1-for-4 with balls hit at 95 mph or harder during this past weekend’s series in Arizona. He was also robbed by Corbin Carroll’s sliding grab at center field during the Series.
Harris on Wednesday started the three-hit game with a single that put him down the third base line. Braves manager Brian Snitker believes he may have taken some weight off the outfielder’s shoulders.
“It’s the kind of thing that can get you off the rug and get you going. It just kind of happened,” Snicker said.
Harris followed Orlando Arcia’s two-hit double with one of his own and then scored when Acuna chased Max Scherzer with a single in the sixth.
Acuña hit a great catch against the right-center field wall to deny Tommy Pham an extra bases-loaded hit in the seventh. Homer Harris was actually hit soon after his web gem was produced. He finished a top eighth by sprinting back to the center field track to leapfrog Marc Cana’s long lead.
“It’s not easy when you’re not feeling well,” Snicker said. “He’s going through things for the first time, and to his credit, it didn’t affect his defense. He’ll give himself a chance to right the ship.”
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