Philadelphia Phillies fans held their collective breath Wednesday night when star outfielder Bryce Harper hit the deck after getting nailed directly in the face with a 97-mph fastball. The scary moment grew more concerning when Harper immediately walked off the field and into the locker room to get evaluated.
But it seems as if the $330 million outfielder is going to be OK.
Harper took to Instagram after the game and provided Phillies fans with a relieving update with a humorous twist. Crisis averted in the 2-1-5.
Bryce Harper hit in the face with 97-mph fastball
The Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals met Wednesday night in a game that featured nothing to write home about halfway through the contest. That all changed in the top of the sixth inning.
Génesis Cabrera entered the game out of the bullpen for the Cardinals, and he got his night started with a bang. On his first pitch of the night, Cabrera lost control of a 97-mph fastball and hit Harper square in the face, right below his left eye. Harper’s helmet flew off his head from the violent HBP, and he immediately fell to the ground in pain.
Amazingly, Harper jumped right back to his feet and was able to walk off the field on his own power. Clearly frustrated, the star outfielder headed into the locker room. He didn’t return to the game.
On the very next pitch, Cabrera plunked Didi Gregorius right in the ribs with another hard fastball. Both benches received a warning after Cabrera’s wild start to his night, and Phillies skipper Joe Girardi was ejected from the game for colorfully arguing the decision.
The two pitches seemed malicious due to the timing, but Cabrera simply just lost control of two straight fastballs.
“Completely unfortunate that the ball got away from him,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said after the game. “Our prayers are with Bryce Harper. We hope that he’s OK.”
Harper shares relieving update to Phillies fans
For a brief period after Harper disappeared into the locker room tunnel, Phillies fans must’ve been distraught. Their $330 million man is off to a blazing start in 2021, and he’s basically been the only one keeping their offense afloat recently.
But the city of Philadelphia was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief shortly after the game. At close to midnight ET, Harper took to Instagram to provide a relieving update about the scary moment on the field Wednesday night.
“Everything feels good. Everything came back good,” Harper said in the video. “CT [scan], all that kinda stuff. Face is still there, so we’re all good.
“See you guys soon.”
The Phillies need Harper in the lineup
Harper seemed upbeat and positive in the Instagram video posted Wednesday night, and the Phillies are hoping that means he won’t miss any time.
Philadelphia has struggled as a team offensively early in the season. The offense is only producing 3.83 runs per game so far in 2021, which ranks 25th in the league. One of the lone bright spots for the Phillies has been Harper, who’s batting .321 and has six home runs so far this year. Harper also leads the team in on-base percentage (.448), slugging percentage (.615), and OPS (1.063) through 24 games.
Thankfully for Philly fans, he seems to be OK.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference