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Bryce Harper's slow start is holding back the Philadelphia Phillies' offense — and he knows it

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Bryce Harper isn't off to the start he wanted. The Philadelphia Phillies superstar knows it's affecting the offense.

The Phillies have scored fewer than four runs seven times this season, and are 0-7 in those games. When Philadelphia scores four or more runs, the Phillies are 8-1. 

That brings things back to Harper, who is hitting .190 through 15 games, his worst batting average to start a season since entering the league. He hasn't hit a home run since April 2, when he mashed three of them as the Phillies put up a season-high nine runs. Harper only has three home runs on the season and seven RBI, six of them coming in that April 2 game. 

The slump continues for Harper, who is mired in a 2-for-27 slump (.074) over his last seven games. Harper doesn't have an extra base hit in that span and has recorded just two walks.

Harper is hitting .259 in wins and .129 in losses. He has a 1.042 OPS in wins and a .343 OPS in losses. 

Simply put, Harper knows he has to be better. 

"When a 3-hole hitter isn't really doing his job, it's tough to win," Harper said Friday. "I just gotta go out there, strive, and continue doing the things I need to do to help this team win." 

Harper is making contact with the ball, having only eight strikeouts during the 2-for-27 slump. His batting average dipped .100 points during the skid, and Harper has visibly shown his frustration at the plate due to a lack of luck. 

In Friday's loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Harper had a 402-foot fly out which was caught at the wall. He also had a line drive to right field which resulted in a diving catch by Bryan Reynolds, prompting Harper to slam his helmet in the dugout. 

Not having a home run in 11 games and an RBI in nine games will do that. 

"Just wanna get a hit," Harper said. "You guys know how I am. I'm pretty emotional at what I do. I'm frustrated I got out."

Harper has an incredibly low .205 batting average on balls in play and a .143 batting average against right-handed pitching. Those numbers last season were .352 and .296 — and should turn around for the better. 

The Phillies star first baseman is in a funk and close enough to pulling himself out of the slump. A few lucky breaks wouldn't hurt, like a 402-foot out resulting in a home run as the weather gets warmer. 

"April in Philly," Harper said with a smile. "It's pretty tough."

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