Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper was pulled off the field last night when his face began to bleed significantly. The injury occurred after he slammed his bat against a wall after a seventh inning ground-out.
Harper hadn't had a good night at bat. With five outs, including three strikeouts, his batting was not his best performance last night, and he took frustration out with a swing at the wall.
Unfortunately his face bore the brunt of that swing.
The Washington Post described the incident as, "The bat caromed off the wall and smacked him above the left eye, drawing copious blood immediately."
“I just got caught up in the moment,” Harper said. “I want to do so well. It just got me.”
No one on the team flinched when he did it, likely having experienced similar frustrations. The injury was initially quickly bandaged up.
“I didn’t think much about it,” Johnson said. “We put a band-aid on it, one of those butterflies. That’s what ballplayers do – break bats, throw helmets. That’s not anything new.”
However, during the 9th inning Harper was taken off the field so his wound could be stitched as the blood started running down his face. The injury left him with a "golfball-sized" welt and 10 stitches, reported the Washington Times.
Bryce Harper has been front center for a while now as baseball watches his progress, his being the 2010 overall draft pick and all. With his late April call up from Triple-A to the majors, that attention hasn't waned. And so far, he's been proving to hold his own in his both offense and defense.
Last night wasn't one of his best, and he knew it. Depending on last night's injury, he may need to take a brief break. Reportedly, Nats' manager Davey Johnson said Harper could miss one or two games, but, as usual, Harper is eager to play.
“I think I’m good,” Harper said, reported the Post. “The doctor said I could play, so I’m going to play.”
He said the injury doesn't hurt and he experienced no light-headedness.
According to the Post, Harper did get christened with a nickname last night by teammate and Nats' shortstop, Ian Desmond. He dubbed the 19-year-old "Bam Bam."
“I guess I won’t do it anymore, but I don’t know,” Harper told the media. “I’ve done it a million times. It’s just a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing. It came back and got me.”
The team, which had taken a quick lead early on against Cincinnati with homeruns by Roger Bernadina and Adam LaRoche, which helped bring in runs with an additional homer by second baseman Danny Espinosa.
Bernadina and Espinosa have been in a batting slump this season, so last night was a great boost for the Nats in the team's offense. The Nationals beat the Reds, 7-3.
Last weekend Harper was in the news after being nailed with a pitch by Phillies' Cole Hamels. Harper repaid him by stealing home plate.