Scary moment out in Los Angeles, as Bryce Harper left tonight’s game against the Dodgers after colliding face-first with the right field fence.
Harper was chasing a deep fly ball hit by A.J. Ellis, and lost track of where he was in relation to the wall. As the ball came down over his head, Harper turned and went face-first into the wall, colliding with the chain-link portion of the fence that protects the video board.
He went down in a heap, and after the Nationals were able to corral the ball and keep Ellis to a triple, team trainer Lee Kuntz and manager Davey Johnson ran out to check on Harper.
Harper remained down for a few minutes, and appeared to be dazed at first. He eventually came to his feet and walked off the field under his own power, but had a pretty gnarly gash somewhere on his chin or neck area that left a stream of blood under his jaw line.
Roger Bernadina replaced Harper in right field.
We can assume that Harper will be given concussion tests, as he suffered what looked like some serious whiplash upon colliding with the wall.
This is the second time in the last two-plus weeks that Harper has crashed into the chain link fencing protecting a wall. He suffered a bad bruise on his left side as the result of an attempt at a home run-robbing catch in Atlanta at the end of April.
The strangest part of tonight’s Harper collision was that he didn’t seem to sense the wall coming. Usually, outfielders feel the warning track under their feet and are alerted to their location in relation to the wall. They can slow up or turn around and prepare for a ricochet off the fence.
Harper didn’t do either. He kept running full speed and turned his head right into the wall.
It’s been a rough couple weeks for Harper, who, in addition to the two wall collisions, also had an ingrown toenail removed last Thursday night. The minor surgery caused Harper to miss two games.
The Nationals lead the Dodgers 6-1 after five innings.
Here’s the clip of Harper’s nasty crash into the wall out at Dodger Stadium.
Update: The Nationals won 6-2, but we’re still waiting for an update on Harper’s condition.
Update II: According to the Nationals, Harper was not diagnosed with a concussion after an examination. He received 11 stitches. More to come.
Update III: On MASN’s “Nats Xtra” postgame show, Davey Johnson said that Harper’s knee, shoulder and neck were bruised, but “he should be all right.”
Harper will go for an X-ray, according to Johnson.
“I was worried he had a concussion or something,” Johnson told reporters. “But fortunately, he’s all right. So that’s good news.”