Game #115 First game of doubleheader with only 2 regulars; Bryce Harper escapes serious injury!

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There was an 11 AM press conference this morning with Washington Nationals general manager, Mike Rizzo, and there were no leaks beforehand as to Bryce Harper‘s condition. Mike Rizzo delivered some very good news on Bryce Harper that there was no ligament, tendon or structural damage to Bryce Harper’s leg. The official diagnosis changed from the preliminary “knee hyper-extension” to a severe bone bruise.

Mike Rizzo would not give a timetable for Bryce Harper’s return rather that he seemed to optimistically vow that Bryce Harper would return in 2017. That should be a big sigh of relief for Bryce Harper, the Nationals and baseball fans.

“There is no ligament or tendon damage, which is pretty remarkable in my mind, seeing the type of injury [Bryce Harper] had,” Mike Rizzo said. “There is a significant bone bruise when he hyperxtended the knee. We felt we dodged a bullet with no long-term ligament and tendon damage.”

“The bone bruise is something of significance. We’re going to treat him cautiously. We’re optimistic that he should be back by the end of the year. We have no timeline. We’ll treat it day to day, treat it cautiously and will continue down that road.”

The Nationals have used 12 outfielders this year due to all of the injuries with a league low of only 6 errors. Last night, rookie call-up Andrew Stevenson stepped up and in Bryce Harper’s spot hitting two balls that he was robbed on at 1st and 3rd base, but more importantly you saw more evidence of Stevenson’s advanced defense with incredible range based on instincts and speed as he chased down a flyout in the left-center gap by the visitor’s bullpen and made it look easy.

The last time the Washington Nationals played their opening day starting 9 was on April 28th when Adam Eaton led-off for the Washington Nationals. Since that day, it has been a cavalcade of players coming in and out of the starting line-up, and the first game of today’s doubleheader looks like what we saw when the Nationals played the Twins in Ft. Myers and sent over a starting line-up that only featured Anthony Rendon along with starting pitcher AJ Cole, Michael A. Taylor, Brian GoodwinChris Heisey,  Clint Robinson,  Matt Skole,  Stephen Drew, José Lobaton, and  Corban Joseph.

For today’s game(s), there is a scheduled doubleheader. Pedro Severino was added as the 26th man, and Michael Taylor will be added back to the roster to take Bryce Harper’s spot.  The line-up for today features only 2 starters from the opening day roster with Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon. Even today’s starter for the Nationals wasn’t on the opening day roster.

The good news is that tomorrow is a much needed day-off on the schedule which will give these players a day to relax some.

San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium:   Nationals Park
1st Pitch:  1:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, NBC – Bay Area, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® Sirius 106 XM 187 (Internet 869)

Line-ups (subject to change without notice):

  1. Brian Goodwin RF
  2. Adrian Sanchez 2B
  3. Anthony Rendon 3B
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Adam Lind LF
  6. Wilmer Difo SS
  7. Andrew Stevenson CF
  8. Jose Lobaton C
  9. AJ Cole RHP
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