WASHINGTON — After connecting for his first grand slam and 100th career home run, Bryce Harper is already thinking ahead to bigger milestones. His manager is invoking names like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky.
Harper smashed a panel on an electronic signboard with his slam in the third inning, and the Nationals beat the Braves 6-2 on Thursday to drop Atlanta to 0-9.
Harper is the eighth-youngest player to hit 100 homers at 23 years and 181 days old. Hall of Famer Mel Ott was more than a full year younger when he became the youngest to do it.
Harper has three home runs this season in eight games under new manager Dusty Baker.
"In every sport, guys (that) are considered the great ones, Michael Jordan, Gretzky, Jim Brown, Joe Montana, they have a flair for the dramatic," Baker said. "And I told him when he hit that home run, `Man, you've got a flair for the dramatic.' "
Harper said the benchmark hadn't weighed on his mind.
"I think if you're worried about 100, you don't want any higher than that," Harper said.
Atlanta's worst start came in 1988, when it went 0-10 on the way to 106 losses.
"I would bet that out of everybody in here, nobody's been in this situation," Braves infielder Kelly Johnson said. "This is unchartered territory."