Quick Links

Harper back in lineup despite stitches

761376.png

Harper back in lineup despite stitches

This being the apex of hockey season and all, we should be accustomed to professional athletes playing hurt, even if it means playing with 10 stitches above your eye. Yet because we're talking about baseball, not hockey, it is somewhat surprising to see Bryce Harper back in the Nationals' lineup, one night after he suffered a severe cut above his eye upon slamming his bat against a dugout wall and having it ricochet back at his face.

Nobody's ever accused the 19-year-old of being soft, though at the moment the bigger concern might be that he's cold at the plate. Harper has just one hit in his last 13 at-bats and has seen his batting average plummet to .233. Perhaps he can get things going again tonight against Reds right-hander Mat Latos.

Latos will be opposed by Jordan Zimmermann, looking to earn his much-deserved second win of the season, even though all six out of his outings to date have been quality starts.

As you know, I'm not in Cincinnati, so please enjoy the game and the conversation. And remember, no matter how frustrated you get, it's never a good idea to slam your bat on the dugout wall...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CINCINNATI REDS
Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WNEW (1580 AM), XM 89
Weather: Cloudy, 73 degrees, Wind 2 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (20-12)
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Bryce Harper
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

REDS (16-15)
SS Zack Cozart
CF Drew Stubbs
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
RF Jay Bruce
3B Todd Frazier
LF Ryan Ludwick
C Ryan Hanigan
RHP Mat Latos

UMPIRES
HP Eric Cooper, 1B Marty Foster, 2B Tim Timmons, 3B Jeff Kellogg (cc)

Quick Links

Bryce Harper reportedly will come off the disabled list tomorrow

Bryce Harper reportedly will come off the disabled list tomorrow

Bryce Harper's (probably) back. 

With just over two weeks left in the regular season, the Nationals star is set to be activated off the disabled list, according to the Washington Post's Chelsea Janes:

Harper hasn't played since August 12, when he slipped awkwardly on the first base bag while trying to beat out a grounder. He suffered a signifcant bone bruise, although the injury looked considerably worse than it ended up being. 

Before getting hurt, Harper was hitting .326/.419/.614 on the year with a 1.034 OPS and 29 home runs. 

Quick Links

Nationals, without their big guns, fall to Mets

reyes_darnaud_mets_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Nationals, without their big guns, fall to Mets

NEW YORK -- Travis d'Arnaud hit two home runs and the New York Mets ended a three-game skid, rallying past a watered-down lineup of Washington Nationals 7-6 on Friday night.

Washington manager Dusty Baker said he needed to "give my big boys much needed rest" with the playoffs nearing, and not a single regular started for the NL East champions. Star Daniel Murphy pinch hit in the eighth and flied out.

MORE NATS: RATHER HAVE THE CUBS, BREWERS, OR CARDINALS IN NLDS?

The Nationals begin the Division Series in exactly two weeks. If the current standings hold, they would host the World Series champion Chicago Cubs to open the best-of-five matchup.

Adam Lind hit a three-run homer for Washington. It was the Nationals' 203rd home run this season, matching the franchise record dating to 1969 when they were the Montreal Expos.

Howie Kendrick had an RBI double and prized prospect Victor Robles lined a two-run triple in the fifth that put Washington ahead 6-1.

Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley exited in the eighth inning because of an apparent injury. He' has struggled this season and missed more than two months because of back problems.

Nori Aoki had three hits for the Mets, including a go-ahead double in the sixth inning off Joe Blanton (2-4).

Chasen Bradford (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

Jeurys Familia, the Mets' third pitcher in the ninth inning, came on to strike out Robles with runners on first and third for his fourth save -- his first since May 5. Familia, who missed three months after surgery to repair a blood clot, entered as part of a double switch, with Kevin Plawecki taking over at catcher for d'Arnaud.

D'Arnaud hit a solo homer in the second and connected for a tying, three-run drive in the fifth that finished starter Edwin Jackson. That gave d'Arnaud a career-best 15 homers and marked his second multihomer game, the other coming in April against Washington.

MORE MLB: POSTSEASON BRACKET PROJECTION (THURSDAY)

Mets starter Robert Gsellman allowed six runs in five innings. He moved up a day to pitch in place of ace Jacob deGrom, who was moved back in the rotation until Sunday because of a stomach illness this week.