Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper left Saturday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning with what appears to be a serious left knee injury after stepping on the top of the first base bag. The game had been delayed three hours due to rain before resuming.
He was replaced defensively by Brian Goodwin, who shifted to right field with Andrew Stevenson taking Harper’s place in the lineup.
Harper slipped on the bag, had to be helped off field. It's been raining the entire night: pic.twitter.com/O8HSQc0sMk
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 13, 2017
Following his groundout in his only at-bat, Harper is batting .326 on the season with a .419 on-base percentage. He had seemingly returned to MVP form in 2017 after a down year in 2016, playing like the 2015 version that was named National League MVP at 22 years old.
Harper has 29 home runs and 87 RBI’s on the season, already with more total bases this year (247) than he did all of last year (223). While he racked up 21 stolen bases in 2016, he has limited himself to just two steals this year.
Named to the All-Star team as the NL’s leading vote-getter this season, Harper is already a five-time All-Star at age 24. The unquestioned face of the Nationals franchise, he is under contract for just one more season before his much anticipated free agency commences.
Earlier in the year, the Nationals lost center fielder Adam Eaton for the remainder of the season due to a torn left ACL which happened under similar circumstances.
Despite the loss of Eaton, Washington entered the start of the game with a 14-game lead over the Miami Marlins in the National League East, with Harper back at the forefront of the MVP discussion.