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Harper leaves game with left glute tightness

Sep 2, 2015, 10:16 PM EST

AP

Bryce Harper departed Wednesday night’s game in St. Louis in the fourth inning with “left glute tightness,” according to the Nationals.

Harper popped out to lead off the fourth, reaching for the pitch from Cardinals left-hander Tyler Lyons and jogging only a few steps out of the batter’s box before turning around and walking back to the Nationals’ dugout. He had a brief conversation with manager Matt Williams, then grabbed his equipment and retreated back down the tunnel toward the visitors’ clubhouse.

The Nationals typically do not give out in-game information on players who depart with injuries, but shortly after Harper left the game they announced the ailment that sidelined him.

Harper, who started in center field after Michael Taylor was scratched with right knee soreness, was 0-for-2 with a strikeout in the game. He was replaced by Matt den Dekker, who suddenly became the club’s No. 3 hitter in a must-win game.

  1. sunshinebobby - Sep 2, 2015 at 10:38 PM

    Oh, please. It’s September. Tape it up, Bryce. Let’s play.

  2. natsguy - Sep 2, 2015 at 11:04 PM

    Do you know how painful that is.

  3. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 3, 2015 at 1:07 AM

    There’s been a lot of “gastro-intestinal issues” going around lately. Maybe “keeping his glutes tight” was the issue. Just a thought.

  4. NatsNut - Sep 3, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    I didnt see it, but this reads very much like a benching for lack of hustle.

    • Guapo - Sep 3, 2015 at 9:27 AM

      If Williams benched the likely MVP for lack of hustle during an irrelevant play a must win game in a race for the division, he should be immediately dismissed. Especially Harper, a guy who’s talent and hustle have carried this team the entire season.

      This is not little league. We’re not building character here. It’s the pros. They are paid to win games. If Williams wants to discipline a player, there are more productive methods than benching.

    • NatsLady - Sep 3, 2015 at 10:33 AM

      Rendon didn’t hustle (but got a double anyway). Escobar didn’t hustle. There’s a lotta not-hustling going on. Can’t bench everyone. The boys are tired, and it was HOT.

      Anyway, I saw it. Bryce took himself out of the game, there was no “benching.”

  5. vannordens - Sep 3, 2015 at 8:07 AM

    Compare his swing intensity from the start of the season to recently. Compare his home runs. I think he has been playing hurt for at least a month.

    • NatsLady - Sep 3, 2015 at 10:35 AM

      I agree with you. He’s been getting on base via the walk a lot, and gets the occasional double, but it’s seems like more his skill and batting eye than power.

      • sec112 - Sep 3, 2015 at 11:44 AM

        I made this suggestion in early August. People pointed out then that his numbers continued to be strong, but in the second half, his OBP is about the same, but his slugging has dropped from over .700 to .483. Still very good, but enough to make you wonder if he’s playing hurt.

  6. saintpaddy - Sep 3, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    So what they are saying is Bryce is a tight ass.

  7. richardp6 - Sep 3, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    Its weird that he didn’t consult the trainer first to see if he could stay in the game. He just made a beeline to the lockerroom. I think there is more to the story. Otherwise its just him knowing something was drastically wrong and in that case he’s headed for the DL.

    • therealjohnc - Sep 3, 2015 at 11:51 AM

      Heh. DOOOOOOOM!

      He had a muscle tighten up and went to get it worked on by the trainers. It’s quite possible, even likely, that there’s nothing to see here* and Bryce will be back in the lineup this weekend.

      *Unless you’re a fan of ESPN The Magazine’s “The Body” issue – in which Bryce is prominently featured.

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