Bryce Harper leapt at the wall last night as he tracked a line drive to right off Tim Hudson's bat and made a leaping attempt to keep it in the yard. The Washington Nationals' 20-year-old outfielder hit the wall hard enough with his left side that the ball, which he got to, bounced out of his glove as he collided with the fence and continued over the wall for a solo home run in what ended up an 8-1 Braves' win. Harper showed reporters the resultant bruise after the game:
Bryce Harper is going to have a gnarly bruise on his left side where he collided with wall/scoreboard on Hudson's HR. Showed us. It's gross.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) May 1, 2013
The bruise didn't keep the 2012 NL Rookie of the year out of tonight's game in Turner Field, but a check swing in a sixth inning at bat against the Braves' Paul Maholm had Harper wincing in pain at the plate. He stayed in the game, lining out sharply to first on a violent swing at the next pitch, but after he was examined by the Nats' trainers and after a talk with Davey Johnson, Harper was lifted from the game in favor of outfielder Roger Bernadina. There was no immediate word on any injury, but after the game, Nationals' manager Davey Johnson talked to reporters about what the issue was:
Davey said Bryce Harper has a bad bruise on his lat from hitting wall. Reevaluated tomorrow.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) May 2, 2013
Harper injury is a contusion of the ribs from crashing into fence last night....not a side or oblique strain...he is DAY-to-DAY!!!— Charlie Slowes (@CharlieSlowes) May 2, 2013
Davey says Bryce Harper's injury is related to yesterday's catch. Bruise on left side. Meds given. Day to day.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) May 2, 2013
No need to panic for now, but with Jayson Werth dealing with ankle and hamstring issues, it might be an interesting outfield in the series finale in Atlanta.
• Here's the play from last night that caused the bruising: