Bryce Harper and Dusty Baker both addressed the neck stiffness which led to Harper’s early exit last night when they spoke to reporters in separate conversations after what ended up a 7-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Washington’s 23-year-old, defending NL MVP woke up with stiffness a few days back and played through it, the Nationals’ skipper explained.
“He’s okay,” Baker said. “He just had a stiff neck for a couple of days, so anybody that’s ever had a stiff neck, you’re not yourself.
“So I took him out for precaution and then we’ll see if it’s any better tomorrow.”
“I’ve been having it for a couple days now, been bothering me,” Harper said.
“Hopefully get some treatment on that and feel better tomorrow or Tuesday and see where we’re at.”
We’ll apparently have to check back with Harper before Tuesday’s series opener with the Cleveland Indians, because the Nationals’ lineup that was released this morning does not include his name.
Chris Heisey’s playing right field as the Nats take on Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who’s coming off his worst start of the season, a five-inning outing in Philadelphia that saw him surrender a season-high eight runs (4 ER) in what ended up being a 13-8 loss.
Since the All-Star Break, the San Francisco lefty is (0-2) with a 3.81 ERA in four starts.
Will the Nationals be able to beat the four-time All-Star in the rubber match of the three-game set with the Giants? We’ll find out at 1:35 PM EDT in D.C.
Here’s the Nationals’ lineup for this afternoon’s series finale: