Bryce Harper strikes out against Max Scherzer in return to D.C.


Following nearly an hour-long rain delay, Tuesday’s series opener between the Phillies and Nationals in Washington, D.C. The big news, of course, is that it is Bryce Harper‘s return to Nationals Park after signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies.

The build-up to Harper’s return has been nothing short of glorious. Fans have destroyed or otherwise defaced the Harper jerseys they spent actual money on. The mayor compared Harper to Benedict Arnold. Fans have been instructed to boo Harper or take a hike.

After Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura each hit singles to start the ballgame, Harper at long last stood in the batter’s box facing Max Scherzer. Harper was booed lustily by his former home fans. Scherzer started off with strike one, a fastball that caught the corner. Harper swung and missed at a cutter for strike two, fouled off a 97 MPH fastball, then took two balls to even up the count. Scherzer then tossed a change-up that dipped under the strike zone, getting Harper to swing over the top of it for strike three. The crowd at Nationals Park erupted in cheers.

Fortunately, everyone is being cool about it.

Harper struck out again in the third inning:

(Reference 1 and Reference 2, for the uninitiated.)

Luis Urías to miss six to eight weeks with fractured hamate bone

Luis Urías
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Robert Murray reports that Brewers infielder Luis Urías underwent surgery to repair a fractured left hamate bone, suffered during a game in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. The club expects him to miss six to eight weeks, which likely means he will not start the regular season on time.

The Brewers acquired Urías from the Padres along with pitcher Eric Lauer in late November in exchange for pitcher Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham.

Last season with the Padres, Urías hit .223/.329/.326 across 249 plate appearances. While his offense isn’t anything to write home about, he does play above-average defense with the ability to play several positions.

Urías was slated to be the regular shortstop, so his late start likely means Orlando Arcia will get another chance to prove himself. Arcia has failed to live up to expectations across four seasons in the big leagues thus far.