Before he K'd swinging at an 0-2 bender from Braves' right-hander Ben Sheets in the bottom of the first inning of this afternoon's game against Atlanta, 19-year-old Washington Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper fouled a bunt attempt off his left foot. The Nats' rookie was in obvious pain and took longer than usual to walk it off and try to stay in the game. Harper went back out for the second inning, but after taking the field in the third, Harper walked back to the dugout and was replaced in center by Roger Bernadina. The Nationals issued the following report via Twitter a little while after the Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick left the game:
Bryce Harper left today's day game vs. ATL with a sore left ankle. This was a precautionary measure.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) July 21, 2012
Harper has gone through a rough stretch recently. Before today's game he was 5 for 30 in the last seven games with just one extra base hit. In the extra-inning series opener with Atlanta last night, Harper was 0 for 5 with a walk and a run scored in the Nats' 11-10 loss to the Braves. No word from the Nationals on whether or not the outfielder will be available for game two of today's doubleheader, and after leaving the game early last night with back issues, Nats' catcher Jesus Flores looked extremely uncomfortable running out a groundout in the fifth, so an already-short Nationals' bench could be even shorter in the nightcap with Atlanta.
• Join today's GameThread HERE. 1-0 Braves after five in the nation's capital.