Bryce Harper is out of tonight’s lineup because he has been battling the flu since yesterday, Manager Davey Johnson said. Harper slept most of the day yesterday and had trouble keeping food down, Johnson said.
Harper has struggled this season against left-handed pitchers, hitting .172/.270/.276, but Johnson wanted him to face Giants starter Madison Bumgarner. Harper is 3 for 9 with a home run in his career against Bumgarner.
“He’s one of the guys that hits him,” Johnson said. “I want to play him.”
Harper, who has appeared in the Nationals’ past 16 games, took batting practice and said he felt “all right,” and so he may be able pinch hit tonight.
Meanwhile, Jayson Werth is in the lineup tonight after he exited Sunday with a bruised right knee after he slid into the plate. Werth said his knee still feels sore, but good enough to play.