Bryce Harper had the worst game of his brief major league career during the Nationals’ 7-3 win over the Reds tonight. And it’s not just because he went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Harper needed 10 stitches above his left eye after slamming his bat up against a wall and having it come back and hit him in the face. Seriously.
Harper took his frustrations out on a wall in the tunnel after grounding out to begin the seventh inning. He remained in the game after the incident and returned to the field in the bottom of the seventh with blood streaking down the side of his face. The picture to the right is from his at-bat in the ninth inning.
The 19-year-old outfielder emerged in the clubhouse after the game with what Kilgore describes as a “golf ball-sized welt” on his forehead and “clumps of blood” in his hair.
“I just got caught up in the moment,” Harper said. “I want to do so well. It just got me.”
Nationals manager Davey Johnson suggested that Harper could sit out one or two games for precautionary reasons, but the precocious rookie doesn’t think he’ll need to miss any time.
Harper obviously let his emotions get the best of him here, which isn’t unusual for a teenager, but the good news is that he managed to avoid serious injury. And hey, at least it inspired Ian Desmond to give him a new nickname. You can now call him “Bam Bam.”