The Nationals and Giants braved a slippery field on Saturday night and came out worse for wear after Bryce Harper sustained a knee injury while trying to beat out a grounder in the first inning. Harper’s left foot slid on the first base bag, sending the right fielder sprawling and clutching his knee. He was unable to put weight on his left leg following the incident and had to be carried off the field by team trainers.
The Nationals have yet to announce a formal diagnosis, but it doesn’t look good for their star outfielder. Harper has been relatively healthy this season and missed just three days with mild groin soreness back in May. Should the knee injury necessitate a trip to the disabled list, it’ll be his first stint on the DL since undergoing thumb surgery in 2014.
Following the mishap, Brian Goodwin covered right field while Andrew Stevenson entered the game to take over in center field. The Nationals currently lead the Giants 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
For the second year in a row, the All-Star Game will feature a starting pitching matchup of Chris Sale vs. Max Scherzer. The two were just announced at a press conference at Nationals Park.
This, in fact, will be Sale’s third straight start of the Midsummer Classic, as he faced off against Johnny Cueto of the National League in 2016. It’s Scherzer’s third start in an All-Star Game overall, as he got the starting nod for the American League back in 2013 against Matt Harvey.
Sale is 10-4 with a 2.23 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 188/31 in 129 inning pitched. He leads the American League in ERA, strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings pitched, with 13.1.
Scherzer is 12-5 with a 2.41 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 182/34 in 134.2 innings pitched. He leads the National League in wins, complete games, shutouts, strikeouts, innings, batters faced, WHIP, hits per nine innings allowed and strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
Because it’s the All-Star Game neither will notch a win, even if one could get a loss. Still, it’s a matchup of the two best pitchers going in 2018 and, with a tip of the cap to Clayton Kershaw, the two best starting pitchers of this era.