By RICHARD J. MARCUS, Associated Press
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Bryce Harper will be sidelined indefinitely with a broken left thumb after being hit by a Blake Snell pitch in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres Saturday night.
The current NL MVP checked his swing as Snell’s 97 mph fast ball rode in and high towards his shoulder before hitting him on the outside of his left hand in the fourth inning. Harper immediately fell to the ground and felt a visible pain as he grabbed his hand while he was on his knees for a few minutes with Phillies head coach Paul Buchheit attending to him.
Phillies general manager Dave Dombrowski, who traveled with the team during the trip, said it was too early to determine if surgery would be needed. He added that he was not sure what type of fracture Harper had or where the thumb injury occurred.
“We’ll put him on the injured list (Sunday),” Dombrowski said. “At first I was worried they would hit me in the face. I worried right away because he’s a tough guy and he left the field right away.”
When Harper was halfway through the Philadelphia dugout, he yelled angrily at Snell and waved his hand at the Padres’ opening pitcher. Snell finally called out to Harper. Many Petco Park fans started booing Harper after several seconds with Harper yelling at Snell.
Then Harper seemed to calm down and say, “I know, I know” to Snell, acknowledging that the pitcher didn’t want to hit him with the playing field.
“He knows (Snell) wasn’t trying to throw him,” Dombrowski said. “It was just an emotional moment. He’s had bad luck: last year he was hit in the face and this year he’s had a couple of injuries.”
The Phillies got all the runs they would need in this one against Snell (0-5) in the fifth inning. JT Realmuto made a solo home run and Alec Bohm followed with a double. Didi Gregorius made a single to put the runners in first and third place, and Yairo Munoz had a scoring roll and Kyle Schwarber an RBI single.
Filis starter Zach Eflin (3-5) threw five effective innings, allowing four hits, including Jorge Alfaro’s two-run double in the fifth, while putting up three and making two walks. Seranthony Domínguez scored three outs for his second save of the season.
Snell conceded four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two balls.
Philadelphia will now have to advance for much, or perhaps the rest, of the season without its biggest bat producer and run to Harper.
Harper, serving as a designated batsman for the Phillies, was replaced by Johan Camargo.
Harper is hitting .318 with 15 homers, 48 RBIs and a .984 OPS this season in 64 games despite a small tear in his right elbow UCL that has prevented him from playing on the field since April 16th. He has tried to avoid it. Tommy John surgery ending the season with a platelet-rich plasma injection and rest.
“He’s a guy who really isn’t replaceable individually, but we’re going to have to be in a position where other people are going to have to step up,” Dombrowski said. “We’ll make a move to try to get someone here (Sunday).”
Filis: RHP Connor Brogdon was placed on the COVID-19 list. It was unknown when he could rejoin the team. … To replace Brogdon, the Phillies selected the contract of Mark Appel, who was the first overall pick in the 2013 draft and had been pitching this season for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. It is his first time in the big leagues. It didn’t launch Saturday night.
Parents: 3B Manny Machado took a remarkable step in his recovery from a sprained left ankle, doing batting practices and ground balls on the field before the game. Machado declined to comment on the condition of his ankle, but coach Bob Melvin continued to express optimism that Machado might be available to pinch once in the near future.
Phillies RHP Kyle Gibson (4-3, 4.06 ERA) takes the hill in the final of the four-game series against RHP Padres Yu Darvish (7-3, 3.17 ERA).
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