The Philadelphia Phillies are seeking their third win of a four-game series in San Diego on Sunday, but let’s not sugarcoat it.
Whatever happens, it’s a lost weekend for the Phillies.
Bryce Harper, the National League’s reigning Most Valuable Player, is out “an indefinite period of time” after sustaining a fracture to his left thumb when he was hit by a 97 mph fastball by Blake Snell in the fourth inning Saturday night.
Although the fracture was immediately diagnosed, Harper faces a series of other tests in the coming days.
“We will put him on the injured list (Sunday),” said Phillies general manager Dave Dombrowski, who is in San Diego with the team. “It’s too early to determine if surgery is needed.
“I was concerned at first that he got hit in the face. I was concerned right off the bat because he walked off the field immediately.”
The Phillies said they were still determining what kind of fracture Harper sustained and where the fracture was on the thumb.
Harper verbally lashed out at Snell as he headed to the dugout. Snell was apologetic. After the game Snell said he already had spoken to Harper.
“We’ve talked, we’ve handled it,” Snell said. “I understand why he was upset. I was upset . I don’t hit people.”
“Bryce knows (Snell) wasn’t trying to throw at him,” Dombrowski said. “It was just an emotional time.”
Harper already was batting a series of injuries this year. A UCL injury had limited Harper to a role as designated hitter and he was facing the possibility of Tommy John surgery. He also recently missed several games with an infected blister. But he was still hitting .318 this season with 21 doubles, a triple, 15 homers and 48 RBIs in 63 games. He had a .385 on-base percentage and a .599 slugging percentage for a .985 OPS.
Ironically, both teams will be missing their offensive leaders Sunday when the Phillies’ Kyle Gibson (4-3, 4.06 ERA) faces the Padres’ Yu Darvish (7-3, 3.17 ERA) in a match of right-handers.
The Padres are without third baseman Manny Machado, who sustained a gruesome-looking ankle sprain last Sunday in Colorado. But Machado has not gone on the injured list and the Padres are hoping he’ll return to action early next week.
“I’d have a tough time thinking he’s available to play tomorrow,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said of Machado’s availability for Sunday. “But he took another step in the right direction Saturday. He did some stuff in the cage then took some batting practice out here. That went pretty good. He took some ground balls. I think running, getting to the base, turning … those are the things that are going to be the most difficult for him right now.”
As for Sunday, the winner of the game will also win the season series 4-3.
Gibson will be making his 15th start and second against the Padres. He took the loss May 19 when the Padres won the rubber match of a three-game series in Philadelphia 2-0. Gibson gave up the two runs on eight hits and no walks with seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He is 2-1 lifetime with a 2.92 ERA in four starts against the Padres.
Darvish started that May 19 game for the Padres and blanked the Phillies on six hits and no walks with five strikeouts over seven innings. Darvish has won his last three starts, giving up two runs on 11 hits and two walks with 18 strikeouts in 22 innings for a 0.82 ERA. He has hit six hitters in those three wins.
–Field Level Media