A slippery slope on-base changes the course of Bryce Harper’s season

Before Bryce Harper‘s unfortunate slip and fall in the 1st inning of Saturday’s 3 hour 1 minute rain delayed game that actually got underway at 10:06 pm while rain was falling, he had aspirations for another great full-season leading his Washington Nationals’ team to the post-season and playing healthy.

Maybe winning his second league MVP was in the back of his mind. How could it not be? Long before he went 5-for-14 last week against the World Series champion Chicago Cubs and raising his OPS the week before that to 1.087 to lead the Majors at the time; Harper was being discussed as the MVP throughout the media. Now being on the DL will chip away at his stats and could derail any chances at winning that award. Harper made it clear in a press conference yesterday that his sights are set on getting healthy and being ready for the post-season.

“The World Series is definitely on my mind, the playoffs, things like that,” Harper said. “But one award is on my mind as well, if you guys know what that one is. It’s a big one to me. So definitely team accolades and things like that come in front of my own, but it’s what I’m striving toward.”

Fangraphs WAR top 3 from 8/13/17

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It is ironic that the player that caused Bryce Harper to speed up to 1st base was none other than Jeff Samardzija who was the same player who could have derailed Bryce’s season in that brawl in San Francisco if Michael Morse didn’t get in between in that melee. Obviously nothing was intentional this time with Samardzija, and it was the weather conditions combined with what Bryce described as being similar to a slip and fall in the shower — just add speed and momentum to it.

After the world saw the accident, it looked devestating and the next morning Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo delivered some rather good news all considering about Harper’s leg that it was a severe bone bruise caused in the hyper-extension internally as the bones collided. There was no ligament or tendon damage seen on the MRI, and in fact Bryce Harper was able to walk after the game out of the clubhouse.

“I just said to the doctor: ‘I’m just going to jump back and forth on both sides, and if I collapse on the ground, then so be it,’ so I jumped back and forth,” Bryce Harper retold what happened Saturday night. “And I did some figure skater stuff and tried to put as much force on it as I could to see if I hit the ground. It was definitely sore. But I felt fine, didn’t feel like anything that I never felt before. So that was definitely good, and I was just praying that the MRI went well.”

“It’s on my timetable,” Bryce Harper said as to when he would return to play. “It’s whatever I feel. We’re not going to rush or anything like that. So if I feel good, I’m going to play. If I don’t feel good, I’m not going to go out there and play. I want to be at 100% as I go out there. I played through injury before, and I’m not going to do that anymore in my career.”

Dusty Baker gave his confident response that Bryce Harper would be back to play this year.

“We don’t know how long he’s going to be out, but he will be back before the end of the season,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s young. He probably mends well, hasn’t had very many injuries to this date. We expect him — we’re not gonna rush him back, but we expect him to be back for the stretch drive and to be healthy. That’s what we want. We want him healthy.”

While Bryce Harper’s leg injury was minor in the final prognosis to what it could have been, what isn’t a miracle in biblical proportions to some sure was to many Washington Nationals fans who were bracing for the worst possible news after what happened to Wilson Ramos last year in the rain and in late-April on a sunny day to Adam Eaton. On this day, Bryce Harper was spared and his prayers were answered.

We also learned about human nature and jumping to conclusions and even these doctors (tweets above) seemed to jump when they should not have based solely on video. There is a reason why you examine a patient and do an MRI. But negativity takes many forms and those tweets just added more fuel to the fire as did a bogus Ken Rosenthal tweet and others.

“So if Bryce is done…. do we just try for next year? This team is far away from winning anything without him.

Sorry I’m not trying to be a jerk but it’s just reality.…” — jeffco01 http://disq.us/p/1lb4spm

If there is a lesson to be learned, don’t jump to conclusions and also never give up!


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