Bryce Harper is not in the Washington Nationals' lineup tonight, after he was hit by a pitch in last night's game.
Philadelphia Phillies' right-hander Jeremy Hellickson hit Harper square on the right (front) knee with an 88 mph fastball in the top of the seventh inning last night.
Harper took his base, but after four throws over to first to check him, Hellickson gave up a line drive to left-center off Daniel Murphy's bat which left fielder Tyler Goeddel caught in the gap before firing a throw back to first to catch Harper before he could make it to the bag.
Harper went in standing up, saying later he didn't think it would be a good idea to slide, and once the inning was over, he was replaced in right field.
Was Harper okay? Did Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker decide to pull Harper after watching him try to get back to first?
"It was getting stiff on him," Baker said.
"First he thought -- you know, you get hit in the leg sometimes, you're not going to come out every time you get hit, but then sometimes it stiffens and it probably didn't help the fact that [Hellickson] kept throwing over there, thinking Bryce was faking, I guess, and so Bryce ran and went back into first and the trainer told me his legs were weak at that point in time, and so we decided just to do the safe and the right thing and get him out of the game."
Baker was asked what his level of concern was after the 4-3 win in the series opener in Citizens Bank Park.
"I don't know," he said. "I'm not a doctor. And I just asked Bryce how was he, and he said, 'Okay.'
"That's what he's going to say anyway, but you won't know probably until tomorrow, after he ices tonight, then the trainers will lay some magic hands on him tomorrow afternoon, then we'll make an evalutation."
"It hurts," Harper told reporters, including MASN's Mark Zuckerman after the game.
"Whenever you get squared up like that, definitely something that didn’t feel good. I think we’ll evaluate tomorrow and see how it feels."
Baker hasn't talked to reporters yet this afternoon so there's no word on what went into the decision to keep Harper out of tonight's lineup, but the Nationals' skipper has Jayson Werth in right fieldand Clint Robinson in left field for the second game of three in CBP.
Here's the Nationals' lineup for tonight's game with the Phillies: