Remember April 28, 2021, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis? Well, that’s the night Bryce Harper was hit in the face by a 97-mph fastball. Now, over a year later, he has suffered an even worse injury by being hit by a pitch.
Harper was hit in the thumb by a 97 mph Blake Snell fastball in the fourth inning in San Diego Saturday night. He immediately fell to the ground, clutching his left hand and writhing in pain. Visibly frustrated, Harper said something to Snell, who was apologetic and replied that it was unintentional. Harper shouted back to Snell that he knew it was not on purpose.
The worst-case scenario played out as Harper suffered a fractured left thumb and is out indefinitely.
He will be re-evaluated in the coming days to determine the path to recovery and whether surgery is required.
It will be 4-6 weeks at least. That includes three Braves series, the All-Star Game that would’ve been his first with the Phillies, the trade deadline, and more.
The Phillies earlier this week scored a combined five runs in three games he missed with a blister. This shows you that Harper is as irreplaceable as any player in baseball.
Harper has again been one of the best hitters in baseball, entering Saturday’s game hitting .320/.385/.602 with 21 doubles, 15 homers, and 48 RBI despite missing nine games. It’s been another painful year for the reigning National League MVP. He has not been able to throw or play the field since the second week of the season because of a small tear in his UCL. He was supposed to have his elbow re-examined next week. He also missed time earlier this week after a blister on his hand became infected.
The result of Saturday night’s game feels not as important as Harper’s injury. The Phillies will need numerous hitters to step up, especially Nick Castellanos who has fallen well short of expectations to this point. They are also without Jean Segura, who broke his finger on a bunt attempt, until early September.
This Phillies team cannot catch a break.