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Bryce Harper injury: Reigning NL MVP exits Saturday's game after being hit in hand by pitch vs. Padres

Sat, Jun 25, 2022
MLB News (AP)

Bryce Harper injury: Reigning NL MVP exits Saturday's game after being hit in hand by pitch vs. Padres

Philadelphia Phillies slugger and reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper exited Saturday night's game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park (GameTracker) after taking a 97 mph Blake Snell fastball to the left hand. Harper was in obvious pain and exited the game immediately. He was holding his thumb. The Phillies have not yet released an update on his injury.

Here's video of the pitch. Snell appeared to apologize, though Harper still had some words for him as he exited the field. Even though it didn't appear intentional -- Snell is not exactly known for precise control -- it's understandable Harper would be upset after taking a pitch to the hand. I think any player would.

Harper has been limited to DH duty most of the season due to an elbow ligament injury. Nonetheless, he is having a fantastic season, and took a .320/.385/.602 batting line with 21 doubles and 15 home runs into Saturday's game. He ranks seventh in baseball in extra-base hits (37) and eighth in total bases (145).

Needless to say, losing Harper for any length of time would be devastating for a Phillies team trying to climb into the postseason mix. They are 15-6 since replacing manager Joe Girardi with bench coach Rob Thomson earlier this month. Among National League teams, only the Atlanta Braves (18-4) have a better record in the league during that time.

Even with the post-Girardi hot streak, the Phillies came into Saturday three games behind the third and final wild card spot. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 29.7 percent. The Phillies have not been to the postseason since 2011 and have the NL's longest postseason drought.

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