(Greg Fiume / Getty Images) Denard Span (Greg Fiume / Getty Images)

Bryce Harper emerged from the clubhouse during Tuesday’s disappointing 8-2 loss to the Miami Marlins and Manager Davey Johnson took a good look at him, thinking about potentially inserting him into the game.

“He looked like he was about to die but he was ready to go hit,” Johnson said. “I thought about hitting him in the eighth and double switching him but I looked at him twice and I said, ‘No, no chance. He was pale as a ghost.’


Harper and Denard Span, two important pieces at the top of the Nationals lineup and in the outfield, didn’t play Tuesday because both fell ill with flu-like symptoms overnight Monday. Harper was in the clubhouse, but acted nothing like himself, chugging Pedialyte, an electrolyte-rich drink used to combat dehydration. Span wasn’t spotted at all in the clubhouse, sent to sleep after he arrived at the stadium early in the afternoon.

“He was just feeling miserable and we told him to just stay in bed,” Johnson said.

Johnson held out hope that both players would be able to return to action on Wednesday in the series finale against the Marlins. But, based on the way he described their maladies, it seemed almost unlikely. The Nationals have an off day Thursday before playing the Mets in a three-game series in New York starting Friday.