From Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com comes word that Bryce Harper has been scratched from the Nationals’ starting lineup Tuesday against the Dodgers due to soreness in his left knee. He’s had surgery on that knee in the past, but there’s no word yet on the severity of this particular issue.
Clint Robinson is starting in right field and batting cleanup versus Dodgers righty Zack Greinke.
Harper, 22, has hit .333/.460/.650 with 29 home runs and 69 RBI in 105 games this season. It would be a shame — and a massive blow for the second-place Nationals — if the 22-year-old superstar is forced to miss an extended period of time.
Washington is currently 1 1/2 games back of the Mets in the National League East standings and 4 1/2 games back of the Cubs for the second National League Wild Card spot.
UPDATE, 8:32 PM ET: Mostly good news from MASN’s Dan Kolko …
Dodgers president Stan Kasten said to MLB Network Radio on Sunday that the club won’t worry until after the season about starter Zack Greinke potentially opting out of his contract.
Greinke signed a six-year, $147 million contract with the Dodgers in December 2012. The contract includes an opt-out clause after three seasons. So, if Greinke wanted to, he could opt out and hit the market as a free agent this off-season. If he decides to stay with the Dodgers, he would be owed $71 million over the final three years of the contract.
Greinke leads the majors with a 1.71 ERA. In a free agent class that will include Johnny Cueto, David Price, Scott Kazmir, and Jordan Zimmermann, Greinke would rank at the head of the class and likely could land a bigger contract.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw entered Friday’s start in Pittsburgh against the Pirates having held the opposition scoreless in 37 consecutive innings. He was hoping to extend that streak at PNC Park, but Gregory Polanco had other ideas. The outfielder served a Kershaw fastball, the first pitch in the bottom of the first inning, into the stands in right-center for a solo home run.
Kershaw was chasing teammate Zack Greinke, who threw 45 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings earlier this season, ending on July 26. Former Dodger Orel Hershiser owns the record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings.