Hurdle lauds Harrison's power display

Hurdle lauds Harrison's power display

SAN DIEGO -- In the two weeks since moving into the lineup as the unrivaled sensation of the Pirates' season, Josh Harrison has also moved into conversations about baseball's best leadoff men.

On Sunday, Harrison went one step further: He joined the conversation about baseball's top power men, or at least those who've turned the rarest of power feats.

Harrison joined that club in the seventh inning of the Bucs' 5-3 victory at Dodger Stadium. He pulled a Chris Perez fastball into homer territory, but a few feet on the wrong side of the left-field foul pole.

Then deposited Perez's next pitch in the right-center grandstand.

Analyzing the nationally televised game on ESPN, Eric Karros simply said, "Wow!"

Sitting in the Bucs' first-base dugout, Clint Hurdle got chills.

"I had goosebumps," said the Pirates' manager, "and that doesn't happen very often."

Neither does what Harrison did. Batters are fortunate to get one pitch every at-bat to potentially hit hard. Barrel up two in one at-bat? Unusual. Two straight? Rare enough that Hurdle could only recall seeing it once as a player.

In the second game of a July 23, 1986, doubleheader between his Mets and the Padres, Hurdle was catching left-hander Sid Fernandez. Steve Garvey came to bat in the seventh inning.

"Garvey hit one into the second deck at Shea Stadium ... foul," Hurdle recalled. "I'm going, 'Whew, man, that was lucky.' Then he hit the next pitch into the second deck ... fair. Now I'm thinking, 'Wow. This must be the big leagues.'"

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.