Entering Sunday’s series finale, the 20-year-old Harper is hitting .297/.393/.617 with 11 home runs and 22 RBIs in 128 at-bats.
Harper is missing the game due to knee soreness from an injury suffered last Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the fifth inning, Harper crashed violently into the right-field wall while chasing down a fly ball at Dodger Stadium, and was forced to leave the game.
He suffered bruises in multiple places, but the knee appears to be what’s causing Harper to remain out of the lineup. Harper was also tested for a possible concussion after experiencing a bout of nausea, but was cleared by team doctors.
“He’s a little gimpy but he shouldn’t be out too long. He’s a little banged up. He’s got bruises everywhere but the main thing is he’s having a little trouble with his knee,” said manager Davey Johnson, according to The Washington Times.
Harper sat out of Tuesday’s game and pinch-hit on Wednesday before rejoining the lineup for the opening game of a four-game set against San Diego. In two games, both Nationals’ wins, Harper went two for eight, with a solo home run.
But, Harper’s knee started barking and he was forced out of the lineup for Saturday’s loss to the Padres. For the Nationals today, Tyler Moore gets the start in left field while Roger Bernadina starts in right.
Washington goes for the series win with Dan Haren (4-4, 4.76) on the mound against San Diego’s Andrew Cashner (2-2, 2.84).