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 …
As we noted, Bryce Harper was ejected in the Phillies-Mets game for arguing balls and strikes, punctuating the ejection with a fairly aggressive argument in which he sorta shoved his manager into the ump, had to be held back by teammates and may very well have earned himself a suspension.
We’ll see about the suspension part, but even if he didn’t anger Rob Manfred over all of that, he did annoy his teammate, Jake Arrieta, who was on the mound last night. Here were Arrieta’s comments after the game:
“Look, I mean, [Harper’s] got to understand we need him in right field,” Arrieta said. “I don’t care how bad the umpire is. He wasn’t great for either side. I’m out there trying to make pitches, and he misses some calls. So what? We need him out there. I need him in right field, I need him at the plate, and he wasn’t there. So that hurts.
“We were flat from start to finish. Two-hour delay, it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready to play. We weren’t, and it showed. The dugout was flat. The defense wasn’t good. Didn’t throw the ball well as a staff overall. We got beat. We started at 8:45. I don’t think our guys were ready to play. We’ve got to come out tomorrow ready to play.”
For Harper’s part he was contrite after the game, echoing Arrieta’s words about needing to keep a level head and about him being more useful in the game than in the clubhouse. Still, he got told by his teammate. And seems to know he got told.