Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Casey Janssen Blows Game Late Vs. Reds

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May 30, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Washington Nationals pinch hitter

Michael Taylor

(3) hits a three-run home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Raisel Iglesias in the sixth inning at Great American Ball Park. Reds catcher

Brayan Pena

watches at right. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Nats Offense Produces Without Bryce Harper

The Nationals scored five runs yesterday and had ten hits without Bryce Harper in the lineup. Harper had to sit out Saturday’s game because of a sore spine after being hit by a pitch during Friday’s game.

Harper was hit in the back by a 95 mile per hour fastball by Reds reliever Tony Cingrani. It looked intentional and I don’t know why he wasn’t tossed from the game at that point and why MLB hasn’t suspended him. Cingrani should have been suspended as many games as was Cole Hamels for doing the same thing. Cingrani has all but admitted it was intentional from the way he has acted since then. He hasn’t apologized.

After the game, he called Harper out for not running to first base fast enough to suit him after he was hit, echoing the nonsense Joey Votto was spouting at first base when Harper got there. Those are not the actions of a pitcher who didn’t mean to do what he did.

Bryce was supposed to be in the lineup today until he tried to hit before the game and realized that his back was too sore to allow him to twist and swing effectively. When you get hit in the spine, it will do that to you.

Michael Taylor seized the opportunity to be a hero again in a game that Bryce wasn’t available to play. Last time it happened, Harper had been ejected and Taylor came in to replace him. Taylor hit a grand slam that won the game for the Nats that day against the Diamondbacks (May 13). Yesterday, Taylor hit a three run homer, his fourth of the season, that broke  a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning and gave the Nats the lead.

Harper is questionable for Sunday’s game. Let’s hope the Nats keep hitting without Bryce in the lineup.

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