Bryce Harper left this afternoon’s series finale with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a tight groin, but the 24-year-old right fielder told reporters he hoped to be back in the lineup for the first of three with the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow night in Citizens Bank Park.
Harper was 0 for 3 with a walk in the third game of three with the D-Backs in D.C., having made an impressive diving catch in the top of the third inning and walked before scoring a run in the bottom of the third.
He remained in the game through the sixth inning, striking out in his final at bat of the day before he was replaced in right field at the start of the seventh.
Since there was no obvious moment he suffered an injury, reporters had to wait until after Washington’s 4-2 win to ask Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker what happened.
“His groin tightened up on him and so we took him out for precautionary reasons and we just have to see,” Baker said. “He’s day-to-day.”
It was the first time the issue cropped up, Baker explained, and he said he wasn’t sure if it happened on the diving catch or in a particular at bat.
“He was swinging mighty hard, but he always swings hard,” Baker said. “I saw him in the dugout and I said, ‘How you doin?’ and he goes, ‘Aww, man it’s not doing too good.’ And so we didn’t want to take a chance.”
Harper told reporters after the game that he felt something on the diving catch, but said it was truly just a precautionary move, and he was looking forward to playing in Philadelphia:
Harper said he felt the groin after the sliding catch. Wanted to be careful. "Hopefully get ready for tomorrow," he said.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) May 4, 2017
In other words, Harper not too worried. "Everybody knows I want to play in Philly," he joked. (Harper hits quite well at Citizens Bank)— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) May 4, 2017
Bryce says he felt the discomfort after the diving play early. Felt it best to play it safe. Made a point to say he wants to play in Philly— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) May 4, 2017
Harper, who went 4 for 9 with two home runs in the Nationals’ first visit to the Phillies’ home this season, heads to Citizens Bank Park with a .376/.504/.723 line, eight doubles and nine home runs on the season and a .296/.361/.627 line, five doubles, three triples and 12 HRs in 38 games and 158 plate appearances in CBP in his career.