Bryce Harper put the Nationals on the board with his legs Sunday night against the Phillies. After getting hit by a Cole Hamels pitch in the first, he advanced to third on a Jayson Werth single and then stole home as Hamels made a pickoff throw to first.
Harper pretty easily made it into home plate ahead of Laynce Nix’s relay on the play. It was his first career steal in his eighth game with the Nationals.
The 19-year-old Harper, baseball’s youngest player, entered the night 6-for-23 with four doubles, three RBI and five walks since his callup. He’s still looking for his first homer.
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.