The Washington Nationals continue to get big injuries as Bryce Harper left in the bottom of the third with a left hand injury
A day after the Washington Nationals celebrated a NL East title, they may have had another big injury happen that could affect how far they go in the postseason. In the top of the third inning, Bryce Harper had a weird slide into third base, causing him to injure his left hand and leave the game early at PNC Park.
On the play, Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang went to apply a fake tag, which caused Harper to slide in an awkward fashion into third as he stretched a double into a triple. While Harper stayed in to score on an Anthony Rendon RBI infield single, he would leave the game in the bottom of the third inning and be replaced by Chris Heisey. Let’s just say the Washington Nationals weren’t too happy with Kang after that play:
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In the bottom of the inning, Cole threw behind Kang and was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Jordan Baker. Both benches cleared and Pirates third baseman Sean Rodriguez was also ejected during the bench clearing. Rafael Martin ended up coming in for Cole and finishing the bottom of the third.
As for Harper’s injury status, the Washington Nationals don’t reveal injury news until after the game. For a lineup that is already without Daniel Murphy because of a buttocks strain, this team could ill afford to lose Harper for any extended period of time. The Nats will begin postseason play on October 7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in all likelihood.
Even though the reigning NL MVP wasn’t hitting many home runs lately (one in September), he was having a good series against the Pirates. During this weekend’s series, he was 5-for-12 with two RBI’s (both came last night).
Hopefully, for the Washington Nationals, this is not a major injury that will cause Harper to miss any postseason games. But, that was a bad play by Kang and in the world of baseball justice, Cole did the right thing by sticking up for his teammate.
UPDATE: From MASN’s Dan Kolko after the game: