|Part of the storm before the game|
Talk about a silence descending on a crowd, that's what happened the 6th inning when Harper went down. As the Post describes it:
Bryce Harper rolled on his back on the damp outfield grass Thursday night at Nationals Park, grabbing his left leg in the sixth inning, grimacing in pain. Shortstop Ian Desmond was the first to rush out to right field. Athletic trainer Lee Kuntz, Manager Matt Williams and center fielder Denard Span were not far behind.
On the night Doug Fister returned from injury and the Nationals fell to the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-3, the sight of their best player, one of the top offensive forces in the National League, writhing in the outfield was difficult for an already banged-up team to watch. After a few minutes, Harper limped off the field under his own power, and after the game, Williams said the injury was a mild left hamstring strain.
Once Harper got up and gingerly walked off the field, people in the stadium began to breath again but just barely. The main problem, besides Harper getting hurt and that is potentially the big problem, was the inability to get runners across the plate when they were in scoring position.
The Nats were 4-14. Even when the Nats were down in the later innings, they got people on base. Just couldn't get runs out of those at-bats. One bright spot for the night was Yunel Escobar going 5-5. He was one of the runners stranded on base. Sigh.
This was Doug Fister's first start after coming off the disabled list. He did pretty well. A home run in the 2nd. Then there was all the problems in the 6th after the rain delay. If Harper hadn't slipped, we'll never know exactly what would have happened. But certainly the ease of two runs scoring would not have been there.
|A sequence of Fister on the mound. You an actually see the ball. Well the blur that's the ball.|
I like Fister. He is very much a no nonsense picture. Gets the ball and fires way.
His thoughts on Harper's injury:
“Once I got my bearings around and we figured out where we were, the initial thought is, okay, ‘what’s wrong with Bryce?’ ” Fister said. “He’s still on the ground looking like he’s in a little bit of pain. We figure out what’s going on with him. That’s unfortunate for us. If anything’s wrong, we never want to see anybody go down, especially one of our teammates.”
The rain before the game produced a rainbow which was very pretty. But, unfortunately, was not a good luck charm of the Nats on Thursday.