Washington took the series opener from San Francisco, 3-1 in D.C. but all anyone will be talking about when they wake up on Sunday and see the news is the ugly, potentially devastating left knee/leg injury Bryce Harper suffered in the bottom of the first inning in Nationals Park on Saturday night.
Harper appeared to (at the very least) hyperextend his left knee as he slipped on the first base bag running out a grounder to first in his first at bat.
His left cleat slid over the bag and he came to an abrupt stop when he hit the infield dirt on the other side, tumbling over onto his right shoulder as he clutched at his leg.
The Nationals’ 24-year-old NL MVP candidate had to be helped off the field, unable to put any weight on his leg, and his screams in a stunned-silent Nats Park are the stuff of nightmares for anyone who heard them.
Washington, as usual per team policy, did not offer any sort of injury update during the game, and we’re posting this before Dusty Baker meets with reporters in his postgame presser, so there won’t be any updates until later or tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Edwin Jackson put together a solid start, and Ryan Zimmerman (RBI double in the 1st), Daniel Murphy (RBI single in the first), and Adam Lind (RBI double in the home-half of the sixth), drove in runs in what ended up a 3-1 win over the Giants.
Nationals now 69-45
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Joe Panik started the scoring, three hours and four minutes after the scheduled start time, when he hit a 2-1 fastball from Edwin Jackson through the rain, out to right, for a solo home run that put the visiting Giants up 1-0 early in Nationals Park.
• Wilmer Difo doubled off Giants’ starter Jeff Samardzija with one out in the Nationals’ half of the first, but things went seriously awry in the next at bat when Bryce Harper hit a grounder to first and hustled down the line, stomping on the wet first base bag and sliding right across it with his cleat before hitting hard on the far side and seemingly hyperextending his knee.
Harper tumbled over and landing on his right shoulder. He was in considerable pain, and with the delays tonight, and stunned crowd, could be heard clearly screaming in pain.
Harper had to be helped off the field, unable to put any weight on his left leg.
Just about the worst-case scenario for a delayed game that started with rain continuing to fall in the nation’s capital.
• Difo scored on an RBI double by Ryan Zimmerman, and Zimmerman scored on an RBI single by Daniel Murphy, as the Nationals jumped ahead, 2-1, with just about no one in Washington caring about the score at that point.
Nats add a run in the 6th.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 13, 2017
After 6, we lead 3-1. pic.twitter.com/SVqDT8Htkt
• Edwin Jackson retired 10 of 11 batters after the back-to-back singles that started the Giants’ second, before he walked Denard Span with one out in the top of the fifth, and he held San Francisco to one run on five hits in six innings of work overall.
• Anthony Rendon singled to start the Nationals’ half of the sixth inning and scored on a double off the wall in center by Adam Lind to put the Nationals up 3-2 on the Giants. Lind’s 10th double of 2017 on a 1-2 slider from Samardzija.
• Edwin Jackson’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 100 P, 58 S, 8/4 GO/FO.
• Jeff Samardzija’s Line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 120 P, 79 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
• Brandon Kintzler worked around a leadoff single in a 12-pitch seventh, with help from range-y plays by Andrew Stevenson in center and Wilmer Difo at shor— well behind/to the right of second really. We did say range-y. Still 3-1 Nationals.
• Ryan Madson worked around a one-out double in a 17-pitch eighth.
• Sean Doolittle recorded his eighth save in eight opportunities with the Nationals with a quick, 1-2-3 ninth. Ballgame. Final Score: 3-1 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington holds a 43-38 advantage in the all-time series with San Francisco, and since 2012, the Nationals are 23-13 against the Giants, and the Nationals are 3-0 against the Giants this season after sweeping the series in AT&T Park.
- Washington’s 32-23 home record after taking three of four from Miami is the fourth-best home record in the NL.
- Since 2011, Washington is 15-4 against San Francisco in Washington, D.C.’s Nationals Park.
- Washington’s bullpen additions, Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson, and Sean Doolittle, have combined for a 1.57 ERA in 23 IP since they joined the Nationals.
- Heading into tonight’s game, San Francisco's bullpen has not allowed an earned run in their last 18 2⁄3 innings pitched.
- Nationals’ reinforcements Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo, and Adrian Sanchez are a combined 8 for 21 (.381), in the last two games.
- In today’s Nationals-themed “Fun With Arbitrary End Points” segment: Wilmer Difo is hitting .350 with a double, two triples, three home runs, 13 walks, four steals, and 20 runs scored... since July 1st.
- Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in AVG (.275), SLG (.472), home runs (169), runs (617), hits (tied, 1,081), and extra-base hits (418), and the Nationals’ offense, as a group, has the second-best OBP in the NL (.340).
Nationals now 69-45