Although Bryce Harper is always a player worth watching, a play Thursday is worth keeping an eye on over the weekend.
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Early in the loss to Seattle, Harper tried to bunt against the shift. A good idea in theory as only the third baseman stand on the left side of the infield. A good bunt, mixed with his speed should lead to a single. If he could bunt.
Harper bunting makes as much sense as arguing with a cat. Yet, both happen. In Thursday’s case, Harper had his fingers gnashed by a ball he bunted at. Not only did the bunt fail, he shook his fingers at the plate and in the dugout after. He played the rest of the game, but do not be surprised if he draws a day off before San Francisco.
As with Max Scherzer, it is the little injuries players think nothing of. Even at this point of the season, those day-to-day pains add up. Worth watching his hand gripping the bat or what pitches Harper swings and misses at. MASN cameras did not linger on him and Paul Lessard the trainer, but a hairline injury is not obvious.
Against the Padres last year, Harper struggled. A slash line of .217/.308/.348 is nothing to cheer over. San Diego has carried a lot of turnover since 2016 while Harper is contending for another MVP. Past results are not indicative of future performance.