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Kurt Suzuki exits NLDS Game 5 after being hit in wrist, head by pitch


There was a scary moment in the top of the seventh inning of NLDS Game 5 in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. With the Nationals trailing the Dodgers 3-1, Walker Buehler returned to the mound for his seventh inning of work. Catcher Kurt Suzuki led off.

With a 1-2 count, Buehler threw a 94 MPH two-seamer that ran too far inside, hitting Suzuki on the wrist. The ball then ricocheted into Suzuki’s face. Dodger Stadium went silent as Suzuki was tended to by the team trainer, eventually walking off the field under his own power. Catcher Yan Gomes pinch-ran for Suzuki at first base and will handle the catching duties the rest of the way.

For what it’s worth, there is no reason to believe Buehler had any ill intent with his pitch, unlike Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty.

Win or lose, the Nationals should provide an update on Suzuki’s status later tonight.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.