Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams talked to reporters this afternoon as the Nats prepared to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a three-game set. The first topic of conversation, of course, was the status of injured outifielder Bryce Harper, who suffered a mild hamstring strain slipping on the wet grass in Nationals Park's outfield last night.
"He's sore and hasn't done a whole lot today," Williams said. "He's getting treatment, I'm sure at some point he'll get a few swings in and do some light mode stuff and see where he's at. He's off for today, we'll reevaluate after the game today after he does all of his treatment and everything and see what we've got for tomorrow."
Asked if he thought it might be a "DL-type situation" or if there was any more info, Williams said, "No, nothing as of yet."
"Again, his comments last night were that it scared him," Williams said. "You never want to get in that position. The surface was wet and he slipped and that's the knee he had surgery on, all of things he said last night. So that being said, we want to be cautious and make sure we're taking the appropriate steps, but for today we're going to see how he feels and if we have to get further testing..."
The plan for now?
"We'll see how it progresses and how he feels and what we can and can't do."
Williams was also asked if there was any hint, or thought, that it could be something more, or worse than a mild hamstring strain that was diagnosed last night?
"Given what's gone on this year," Williams responded, "and the intricacies in which things have happened -- we're getting hammered about it anyway, so we're not going to go there. So what we'll do right now is say that he's sore and we're evaluating every day, and we'll take the appropriate steps necessary to make sure that he's 100% when he's ready to go."
After the announcement of the diagnosis last night, Williams told reporters, "It's time. It's time to step up. Everybody. We look forward to doing that tomorrow."
He clarified this afternoon what he meant with that comment, talking about what the Nationals need to do to step up and turn things around in spite of the absence of Harper at least for tonight.
"It's going to take, first and foremost, attitude," he explained.
"Going out there with some aggression and willingness to do what we need to do to help us win a ballgame.
"I think the words were taken a little bit out of context, 'It's time to step up,' but it is. When you lose your best player, certainly, arguably one of the best players in the game, to an injury for today at least, then guys have got to step up.
"When you lose your three-hitter and your five-hitter and two-fifths of your rotation, we need to step up. That's what it means. It's not an indictment of any particular players, but we've got to give ourselves a chance and that's what we have to do.
"So, everybody collectively, we need to put together a good game and see if we can beat these Pirates. They're hot. They're playing well, but we have a chance to beat them tonight and we'll see if we can do that and go to tomorrow."