Harper breaks thumb in Phillies’ 4-2 win over Padres

Jun 25, 2022, 10:31 AM | Updated: Jun 26, 2022, 12:08 am
San Diego Padres' Jorge Alfaro reacts after striking out against the Philadelphia Phillies during t...

San Diego Padres' Jorge Alfaro reacts after striking out against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 25, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan)

(AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Bryce Harper saw the pitch flying toward his face, so he quickly turned his head and raised his left hand to protect himself.

Turns out, the Phillies slugger would rather he hadn’t.

Harper will be sidelined indefinitely with a broken left thumb after he was hit by a pitch from Blake Snell in Philadelphia’s 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

“I kind of wish it hit me in the face,” said Harper, who was wearing a splint on his thumb. “I don’t break bones in my face. I think I can take 98 (mph) to the face, but not 97 to the thumb. Yeah, I was kind of in protection mode a little bit trying to get my hand up there and not let it hit me again.

“It’s just a bummer. I am really bummed out.”

The reigning NL MVP, who missed only a few games last year when he was hit in the face by a fastball from St. Louis’ Genesis Cabrera, checked his swing as the 97 mph fastball from Snell rode inside and high toward his shoulder before hitting him on the outside of the left hand in the fourth inning.

Harper immediately fell to the ground and was in visible pain as he held his hand while on his knees for several minutes with Phillies head trainer Paul Buchheit attending to him.

Phillies general manager Dave Dombrowski, who traveled with the team on the road trip, said it was too early to determine if surgery will be needed. He added he wasn’t sure what type of fracture Harper had or where on his thumb the injury occurred. Harper said he would see a medical specialist when he returns to Philadelphia.

“We will put him on the injured list (Sunday),” Dombrowski said. “I was concerned at first he got hit in the face. I was concerned right off the bat because he is a tough guy and he walked off the field immediately.”

As Harper was halfway to Philadelphia’s dugout, he appeared to angrily yell at Snell and motioned with his hand at the Padres starting pitcher. Snell eventually shouted back at Harper. Many of the fans at Petco Park fans started to boo Harper after several seconds with Harper shouting at Snell.

Harper then appeared to cool down and say, “I know, I know” to Snell, acknowledging that the pitcher didn’t mean to hit him with the pitch.

“It wasn’t heated at all,” Harper said. “It was just the moment and a crappy situation. I’ve been playing against Blake since we were 10, 11 years old so I know there was no ill-will behind that at all. The inside pitch is part of the game. He is a great player and a great human being as well. I wish him the best and I told him to keep throwing that inside fastball because it sets that slider really good.”

Snell texted Harper and said the two are on good terms.

“Obviously, I felt terrible hitting him,” Snell said. “I don’t do that and he knows that. We’ve talked, we’ve handled it. He plays with a lot of passion and I can understand why he’d be upset. I’m just as upset as he is — I hit him. … I just hope he recovers quickly and gets back out there and continues to compete.”

Snell added he and Harper were going to see each other after Saturday’s game or on Sunday.

The Phillies got all the runs they would need in this one off Snell (0-5) in the fifth inning. J.T. Realmuto hit a solo home run, and Alec Bohm followed with a double. Didi Gregorius singled to put runners on first and third, and Yairo Munoz had a run-scoring groundout and Kyle Schwarber an RBI single.

Phillies starter Zach Eflin (3-5) pitched five effective innings, allowing four hits — including Jorge Alfaro’s two-run double in the fifth — while striking out three and walking two. Seranthony Dominguez got three outs for his second save of the season.

Snell gave up four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

Philadelphia will now have to move forward for much — or perhaps the rest — of the season without its biggest bat and run producer in Harper.

Harper, serving as the Phillies’ designated hitter, was replaced by Johan Camargo.

Harper is hitting .318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .984 OPS this season in 64 games despite a small tear in the UCL of his right elbow that has prevented him from playing the outfield since April 16. He has tried to avoid season-ending Tommy John surgery with a platelet-rich plasma injection and rest.

“He is a guy who really isn’t replaceable on an individual basis, but we are going to have to be in a position that other people are going to have to step up,” Dombrowski said. “We will make a move to try and get someone here (Sunday).”

Dombrowski said outfielder Mickey Moniak, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick who has struggled in limited action in the majors, would be an option to be called up to help offset the loss of Harper.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Connor Brogdon was placed on COVID-19 list. … 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. He didn’t pitch Saturday night.

Padres: 3B Manny Machado took a notable step in his recovery from a sprained left ankle, taking batting practice and ground balls on the field before the game. Machado declined to comment on the status of his ankle, but manager Bob Melvin continued to express optimism that Machado could be available to pinch hit in the near future.

UP NEXT

Phillies RHP Kyle Gibson (4-3, 4.06 ERA) takes the hill in the four-game series finale against Padres RHP Yu Darvish (7-3, 3.17 ERA).

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Serena Williams, of the United States, watches a return to Belinda Bencic, of Switzerland, during t...
Associated Press

Serena Williams’ Cincinnati opener pushed back to Tuesday

MASON, Ohio (AP) — Serena Williams’ opening match in the Western & Southern Open has been rescheduled from Monday to Tuesday. The 40-year-old Williams, preparing to retire, is set to face 19-year-old Emma Raducanu, the defending U.S. Open champion. A spokesman for the tournament said the change was “on account of a number of factors […]
22 hours ago
Boston Red Sox closer Garrett Whitlock, right, is congratulated by catcher Kevin Plawecki, left, af...
Associated Press

Wacha makes short work of Yankees, Boston wins 3-0 in 2:15

BOSTON (AP) — Michael Wacha and the last-place Red Sox made short work of the AL East-leading New York Yankees. Pitching for the first time in almost seven weeks, Wacha returned from a shoulder injury to limit New York to a pair of singles in seven innings, and Boston beat the Yankees 3-0 on Sunday […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Wings soar past Sparks with 41-point second quarter

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Marina Mabrey scored 27 points, Teaira McCowan added 24, and playoff-bound Dallas rode a 41-point second quarter to a 116-88 victory over Los Angeles in a regular-season finale on Sunday. The second-quarter blitz included an 18-0 run and the Wings finished the first half with a 66-29 lead on 74% shooting […]
22 hours ago
Latvia's Ralfs Bergmanis (16), Martins Lavins (6) and Girts Silkalns (15) celebrate a goal against ...
Associated Press

Latvia beats Czechs to reach world junior quarterfinals

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Ralfs Bergmanis had a hat trick and Latvia beat the Czech Republic 5-2 on Sunday to secure a quarterfinal spot in the world junior championship. Latvia (1-2-1) was third in Group A, a spot ahead of the Czech Republic (1-2-1). Latvia got into the event when Russia and Belarus were expelled. […]
22 hours ago
San Francisco Giants' Thairo Estrada, second from right, celebrates with teammates after hitting a ...
Associated Press

Estrada hits 2-run HR in 9th, Giants edge Pirates 8-7

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Thairo Estrada hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning and the San Francisco Giants edged the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in a back-and-forth game Sunday. Evan Longoria, whose wild throw gave Pittsburgh the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, started the rally in the bottom half […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Sky take No. 2 seed in playoffs after cruising past Mercury

PHOENIX (AP) — Azura Stevens scored 17 points and Chicago wrapped up the regular season with an 82-67 victory over Phoenix on Sunday. Chicago (26-10), the defending WNBA champion, had an opportunity to take the No. 1 playoff seed had Las Vegas (also 26-10) lost its regular-season finale earlier on Sunday. However, the Aces defeated […]
22 hours ago
Harper breaks thumb in Phillies’ 4-2 win over Padres