MLB Team Report - Washington Nationals - INSIDE PITCH
Bryce Harper brings the kind of intensity that few players have nowadays. That's a good thing.
But it also can be dangerous.
He sat out Tuesday's loss to the Dodgers, and manager Davey Johnson could rest him again Wednesday after Harper crashed face-first into the wall during a win in the series opener Monday.
That collision left Harper with 11 stitches on his chin, feeling sore all over and nauseous enough to have Johnson pull him Tuesday. When talking with reporters in Los Angeles before the second game, Harper said he plays the way he plays.
"Throughout my career, I'll learn, I guess," Harper told The Washington Post. "I've always played like that, even in college. I'd run into walls and get back up and go, 'Holy crap. Maybe I shouldn't have done that.' But that's the way I play."
The question now is: Should he change that way?
Harper didn't have a concussion after Monday's incident, but it could have been worse. If he gets injured at some point, it's likely the Nationals will explain to him the importance of dialing things back a bit.
It's probably a good bet someone's already said something to him.
But that's a fine line to cross. Players such as Harper need that intensity and aggressiveness. It drives them, pushes them all the time.
It's part of his signature already. If Harper gets an extra-base hit, you can bet good money that helmet will come flying off because the 20-year-old runs so hard.
In fact, Harper's very similar to Pete Rose. Rose knew how to rein that intensity in and control it, bringing it out at the right times. That's something Harper's got to figure out at some point before any real injuries happen.
MLB Team Report - Washington Nationals - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost one
PAST 10 GAMES: 6-4
NEXT: Nationals (Ross Detwiler, 2-3, 2.53) at Dodgers (Zack Greinke, 1-0, 1.59)
--LHP Ross Detwiler will be looking to break his funk against National League West opponents when he heads to the mound for Washington on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. Not all of Detwiler's ills have been self-caused; his 0-5 record against the division is in large part because of receiving just five runs of support.
--RF Bryce Harper missed the Nationals' matchup at Los Angeles on Tuesday after crashing into the Dodger Stadium right-field wall on Monday. Harper reported feeling nauseous on Tuesday despite passing a concussion test on Monday night, and he is also suffering a sore knee and shoulder. His status remains day-to-day.
--CF Denard Span was given the day off Tuesday by manager Davey Johnson. Span is batting .277 with five stolen bases and is expected to rejoin the starting lineup Wednesday in the series finale against the Dodgers.
--RHP Dan Haren ran into the buzzsaw that is Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday night, and even a fantastic performance was not enough for Haren to pick up his fourth win. Haren threw seven innings of four-hit ball, allowing a two-run single to Andre Ethier that proved to be the difference. Haren came up lame trying to cover first base midway through the game, but he returned to show little ill effect and said he was fine after the game.
--3B Ryan Zimmerman was just about the only Washington regular to have any success against the devastating Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday night, albeit in a futile effort. Zimmerman got three hits off the Dodgers' ace in the first six innings; the rest of the Nationals' lineup had one.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Throughout my career, I'll learn, I guess. I've always played like that, even in college. I'd run into walls and get back up and go, 'Holy crap. Maybe I shouldn't have done that.' But that's the way I play." -- OF Bryce Harper.
MLB Team Report - Washington Nationals - ROSTER REPORT
--RF Bryce Harper (cut on chin, sore shoulder, sore knee) left the May 13 game and sat out May 14. He's day-to-day.
--OF Jayson Werth (strained right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 3. He was scheduled for a rehab assignment in mid-May.
--RHP Christian Garcia (partial tear in forearm tendon) was hurt Feb. 21. He went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22.
RHP Stephen Strasburg
LHP Gio Gonzalez
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
RHP Dan Haren
LHP Ross Detwiler
RHP Rafael Soriano (closer)
RHP Drew Storen
RHP Tyler Clippard
LHP Zach Duke
RHP Craig Stammen
RHP Ryan Mattheus
RHP Henry Rodriguez
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Danny Espinosa
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
INF Chad Tracy
INF/OF Steve Lombardozzi
LF Roger Bernadina
CF Denard Span
RF Bryce Harper
OF/INF Tyler Moore
OF Eury Perez