Bryce Harper, who missed one game last week when he tweaked a hamstring on a throw on the wet grass in Nationals Park's outfield, doubled in the bottom of the eleventh last night, and pulled up as he arrived at second base, limping a little and holding the back of his leg. His reaction as he arrived at the bag was noticeable enough that both Nats' skipper Matt Williams and team trainer Lee Kuntz visited the 22-year-old outfielder at second, but he told both he was fine to stay in the game and eventually scored the winning run on Ian Desmond's walk-off sac fly.
After the win, Williams was asked what Harper told him to convince him he was capable of remaining in the game?
"Just that it was a cramp when he went into second, so standing there it got a little better," Williams told reporters.
"He told me he could score if there was a base hit, so it subsided it a little bit. We'll see how it acts when he gets up in the morning. But, doc will take a look at it and trainers will take a look at it when we get back in there and see what we've got."
When the Nationals' lineup for the series finale with the Atlanta Braves was posted this afternoon, Harper's name was not on it, so of course Williams was asked for an update when he met with the press in the nation's capital.
"He's fine. He's getting a day off," Williams responded.
Anthony Rendon was out of the lineup too, and Williams' response on that matter was similar.
"[He's] getting a day off as well," the second-year manager said.
"He's been dealing with some soreness, so we'll give him the day too. They're both available, but today is the day to give them the rest that they need."
The soreness Rendon's dealing with is apparently not tied to his previous injury issues this season, but a left quad problem
"It's nothing in the knee," Williams said.
"He's had a little bit of an issue with a quad that he's been playing with so we're just going to make sure that we can look at days that we can give him [off]. Today was one of those days that we scheduled, so we've got to make sure that we're mindful of his progress too."
Asked for more details on Harper, Williams again declined to elaborate.
"They're both getting a day, that's as far as we're going to go. We're not going to delve into intricacies of any of that right now. They're both getting a day off, they're both available off the bench, that's as far as we'll go with it."