UPDATE (8:40 PM EDT):
Bryce Harper was originally penciled in as part of the Washington Nationals’ lineup for the second game of three with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chase Field.
Harper was, however, scratched from the game with about an hour to go before the first pitch.
According to reports from Phoenix, Harper was dealing with an illness. In the last few weeks both Anthony Rendon and Stephen Drew have dealt with flu-like symptoms.
No word on the symptoms Harper is dealing with and there probably won’t be until after the game.
Bryce Harper has been scratched from tonight's game due to illness.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 3, 2016
Here’s the updated lineup:
New #Nats vs #DBacks (Harper out w/ illness): Turner CF, Werth LF, Murphy 1B, Rendon 3B, Ramos C, Heisey RF, Espinosa SS, Difo 2B, Roark RHP— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) August 3, 2016
Daniel Murphy returned from two games out of Washington’s starting lineup, after he tweaked his left leg in San Francisco, with a 3 for 3, 2B, 3 R game in Arizona which left him with a .355/.395/.626 line on the year.
Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker took advantage of the lopsided score in what ended up a 14-1 win over the Diamondbacks to get the 31-year-old infielder out early, lifting Murphy after five innings as the Nats ran away with the series opener in Chase Field.
"As it was, you saw Murphy had to run," Baker explained. "I think he scored from first and then he had to run on a double, then he scored from second.
"That was enough running for tonight. We’re trying to keep him for the remainder of the season, hopefully get him over this hump, and get him well where we don’t have to worry about it and he doesn’t have to worry about it."
Murphy has now hit safely in 15 of his last 17 games, going 25 for 58 (.414 AVG) over that stretch, with nine doubles, a triple, six home runs, five walks and 14 runs scored.
He enters play tonight in the second of three with the D-Backs leading the National League in AVG, SLG, hits (134), doubles (32), extra-base hits (57) and multi-hit games (42), and he currently ranks third in the NL in fWAR (4.5), behind only the LA Dodgers’ Corey Seager (5.0) and the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant (5.4).
Murphy’s hitting .359 (33 for 92) with runners in scoring position this season, the third-highest AVG w/ RISP in the NL, behind only the Miami Marlins’ Martin Prado (.370) and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Stephen Piscotty (.396 AVG) among qualified NL hitters.
Murphy is back in there tonight, playing first with Trea Turner at second for the second of three with the D-Backs in Chase Field...