Despite the 11-1 romp over the Padres tonight, Nationals fans were probably holding their breath for much of the evening after Bryce Harper had to leave the game after four innings with an apparent injury.
After the game, however, manager Matt Williams provided some good news, given the circumstances: Harper suffered a jammed left thumb when he slid into third base on a third-inning bases-clearing triple.
X-rays on Harper’s thumb came back negative, and while the Nats will re-evaluate Harper tomorrow and aren’t positive that it will be something that he can come back from in the immediate future, it does appear they’ve avoided any serious issues.
“For now, he’s OK,” Williams said. “It’s a little swollen. He could’ve continued to play tonight, I think, but we thought it best to get on it right away. So we’ll re-evaluate him tomorrow, see where he’s at. Just jammed it sliding into third.”
Harper had his thumb wrapped after the game, but was upbeat in his session with reporters.
“It feels all right,” he said. “Pretty swollen right now, pretty tight. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and go from there. ...
“I slid into the bag, I knew I caught it a bit. Went into the dugout, swung a couple in the cage. Felt fine. Hit some homers off Ali (Modami, batting practice pitcher) in the cage. Six-to-nothing ballgame, swelled up a little bit. Went out there to the outfield, swelled up a bit. I thought we were in a good spot and Matt did, too. Got in, got some treatment on it. Put some ice in there and see how it felt.”
The Nats recently lost Ryan Zimmerman for four to six weeks due to a broken thumb, an injury that occurred when Zimmerman slid into a base. Harper said he didn’t feel like his injury was anything serious at any point.
“I didn’t think so,” he said. “When you hit it, you know whether it’s pretty serious or not. It just swelled up a little bit and that was pretty much it.”
The injury doesn’t come at a great time for Harper, who had gone 2-for-2 with four RBIs in his two plate appearances tonight prior to the thumb issue, making him 5-for-11 in his last three games. Just as he was starting to heat up and really square the ball up, he has to deal with an injury.
“Yeah, it sucks,” Harper said. “But I feel like my swing is where it needs to be. I feel good. Staying on a lot of pitches and having good at-bats. Hopefully I come in tomorrow and it feels pretty good.”