WASHINGTON -The scenario didn't look good at all for the Washington Nationals when Bryce Harper hit the first-base bag and tumbled onto the ground in the last of the first inning late Saturday night.
Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger (6-4) held the Rays to four hits in seven innings, striking out nine batters while walking only one. While both insist that they've moved on from the skirmish, there's a chance the two will square off in a more traditional sense in Saturday's opener of a rain-delayed three-game series at Nationals Park, which will conclude with a doubleheader Sunday after Friday's game was postponed.
The injury to Harper opens up playing time in the outfield but would present a hard challenge if he's not ready by the start of the postseason. Baker said he hopes that's not the case with Harper.
There has been no update on Harper's injury.
Baker refrained from criticizing the league, saying the teams "were kind of at the mercy of the schedule".
Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the majors in homers, drilled a tiebreaking, three-run shot to left field to lead Miami over Colorado.
There's no definitive timeline for Harper to return, but Rizzo is hopeful the star outfielder and NL MVP candidate will be back before the end of the season. Despite many fans waiting out the delay, the stadium went eerily silent in the minutes after Harper's injury. Stephen Strasburg is now set to make a rehab start on Monday after missing the last couple weeks due to an elbow injury.
After the Harper injury, Ryan Zimmerman doubled and Daniel Murphy singled to put the Washington Nationals up 2-1, but the result tonight is small compared to what happened with Harper.
With the Nationals cruising toward another playoff appearance and Lind and Brian Goodwin playing well, manager Dusty Baker was asked what he might do when Jayson Werth (bruised left foot) and Michael Taylor (strained right oblique) are healthy.
Harper is under contract through next season and can be a free agent in the winter of 2018. "I'm very optimistic that he'll be at least fine shortly".