Wednesday in the ninth inning, two nights after he tested the structural integrity of the right field wall at Dodger Stadium, Bryce Harper hopped out of the dugout and stood in the on-deck circle. He had not talked his way into the game; Manager Davey Johnson simply sent him up to pinch hit.
Any dramatics fizzled when Harper grounded out to first base against Brandon League, part of the Nationals’ final, fruitless comeback attempt. Afterward, standing in front of his locker, Harper offered a one-word summation of how he was feeling.
“Terrible,” Harper said.
After Harper went through a pregame workout and pinch hit, his status for Thursday in San Diego remained up in the air. Harper remained sore all over, particularly his left side and abdomen. His knee and shoulder, Harper said, hurt less than the day before.
“He should be all right tomorrow,” Johnson said.
“We’ll see,” Harper said.
Harper said the effects of his collision with the fence did not compromise him during his at-bat.
“I felt good,” Harper said. “League’s a good pitcher. He gave me a split-finger. I was trying to go up there and get something that was up in the zone. He didn’t give me one.”
The Nationals could use Harper — and Jayson Werth — back in their lineup as soon as possible. After scoring only one run Saturday, the Nationals are hitting .231/.292/.370 as a team. They have not had their full lineup together, and they won’t when Wilson Ramos hits the disabled list. Their offense needs all the help it can get.
FROM THE POST
Wilson Ramos and Ross Detwiler both left the Nationals’ 2-1 loss to the Dodgers, and Ramos is likely headed to the disabled list.
FROM YESTERDAY’S JOURNAL
NATS MINOR LEAGUES
Columbus 10, Syracuse 7: Chris Young allowed eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings on 11 hits and four walks, striking out one. Chris Rahl went 5 for 5 with two doubles. Wil Rhymes went 2 for 4 with a walk.
Richmond 7, Harrisburg 6: Anthony Rendon went 1 for 5 with a home run. Since he returned from the majors, Rendon is hitting .432/.523/.838. Sandy Leon went 2 for 4. Rick Hague went 2 for 3 with a walk.
Potomac 9, Wilmington 6: Michael Taylor went 2 for 2 with a double. Jason Martinson went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. A.J. Cole allowed six runs in five innings on six hits and two walks, striking out three.
Hagerstown 6, Greensboro 0: Shawn Pleffner went 2 for 4 with a home run and a walk. Stephen Perez went 2 for 4 with two doubles. Ronald Pena allowed no runs in five innings on five hits and a walk, striking out none.