Bryce Harper fakes everyone out, pretends he fouls a ball off his foot, gets another chance


This is . . . novel.

Bryce Harper was batting in the bottom of the sixth inning with a 2-1 count when he seemed to ground out to first base. He came up limping, however, and the umpire called it a foul ball off his foot, so he lived to take another pitch. Two more pitches, in fact, both of which were balls, so he was awarded first base.

Except, the ball never hit his foot. He totally faked it. Watch the video here. And look at this:


Note: that is not his foot. And no, it did not ricochet off his foot to that position. That’s where it’s hitting the ground on the fly.

I’m sure someone will say that this is bush league. Not playing the game the right way. Maybe it is. We don’t see stuff like this too often. Guys pretend they get hit by pitches sometimes to take a base and no one gets too bent out of shape about it, but this seems maybe a step beyond that. More like A-Rod “I got it” territory or something. An interesting philosophical question.

But whatever you think about it, you do have to marvel at his reflexes here. You can’t go up to the plate thinking about doing this as you have too many other things to think about. He had to come up with this ruse in a fraction of a second, on the fly. That’s pretty dang impressive.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.


Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.