Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper went deep for his 14th home run of the season on Tuesday night, and he took inspiration from an unlikely source. Harper says one amped up radio caller gave him all the juice he needed to drive a ball out of the park against the Los Angeles Angels.
In the bottom of the second inning, Harper stepped up to the plate and smashed a rocket over the right field wall off Angels starting pitcher Tyler Anderson. The Phillies wound up bashing five home runs as a team in a 12-7 win.
In his postgame press conference, Harper admitted that he had been listening to a radio show on WIP while driving to the stadium that afternoon. One caller, Chuck, delivered a fiery rant about Philly’s recent hot streak that helped get Harper in the zone.
“It’s funny, I was driving in today, and I was listening to WIP like I do a lot in the two o’clock hour,” Harper said. “A guy named Chuck called in. He calls in a lot. It’s hilarious. He was talking about our team and talking about me and stuff. I walked in the training room, and I go, ‘I’m gonna go deep tonight for Chuck.’ That guy had me fired up, man.”
Chuck, along with Harper and the rest of the Phillies, has every right to feel good about this team right now. Philadelphia has won five straight and eight of its last 10 games. As a result, the Phils are now in full control of the first NL Wild Card spot.
Normally, athletes try to tune out any and all noise from the local media. Maybe now more athletes will start tuning into local sports radio to hear motivational speeches from the most diehard fans — as long as things are going well on the field.