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Harper 'definitely sore,' day to day after HBP

@SlangsOnSports
September 7, 2019

NEW YORK -- Bryce Harper left Friday night’s 5-4 loss against the Mets at Citi Field in the bottom of the third inning with a right hand contusion after he was hit by a pitch in the top of the inning. The Phillies later announced X-rays on Harper's hand were

NEW YORK -- Bryce Harper left Friday night’s 5-4 loss against the Mets at Citi Field in the bottom of the third inning with a right hand contusion after he was hit by a pitch in the top of the inning. The Phillies later announced X-rays on Harper's hand were negative, and Harper said postgame that no other tests were currently scheduled.

“[I’m] definitely sore. That’s about it,” Harper, who had his hand wrapped, said when asked how he felt after the game.

Box score

“Anytime it squares you up a little bit, it’s a little scary. So, you know, definitely kinda just wanted to get on first and keep the game going. But yeah, it wasn’t good,” he said.

When he was hit, Harper took his base and remained on the bases throughout the top of the frame, but did not take the field when the Mets came up to bat.

The pitch, a 92.9 mph first-pitch sinker from Steven Matz, went off Harper’s hand and caused him to drop to the ground in pain -- visibly upset -- before eventually taking his base.

“He should be OK,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said after the game.

Asked if Harper would be playing Saturday, Kapler said that it was a “conversation we still have to have.”

Harper said his removal was more than just precautionary.

“I couldn’t grip the bat, so, if I can’t do that, then I can’t be in,” he said.

In his first year with the Phillies, Harper is hitting .254 with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. His importance to the team’s offense cannot be understated. The team is 38-17 when he has at least one RBI, 21-12 when he has multiple hits and 21-7 when he homers.

You never know what could happen, but at the point when Harper left the game, both teams were scoreless. After the third inning ended, the Mets had a one-run lead. The Phillies squandered multiple opportunities with runners in scoring position, going 2-for-9 and leaving nine runners stranded. Harper’s spot in the order came up once with a runner in scoring position after he’d left the game, when Sean Rodríguez grounded out to end the fifth inning with J.T. Realmuto at second base.

Ultimately, the Phillies lost on a walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth after Realmuto tied the game with a two-run homer in the top of the inning. Any one of those RISP opportunities that they did not capitalize on could have changed that outcome.

There’s no question the Phillies will need Harper down the stretch to make a playoff push. They are now tied with the Mets in the Wild Card standings, residing four games behind the Cubs for the No. 2 spot.

“I don’t know yet, [we’ll] see how it feels,” Harper said when asked if he would be good to go on Saturday. “Of course, we’re in the stretch right now, so if I can be in there, I’m going to be in there.”

Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.