Phillies

Another big injury in the NL East

Phillies

There is no National League hitter hotter than Kyle Schwarber, but the Nationals won't have their powerful leadoff man any time soon.

Schwarber has a "significant" strain in his right hamstring, manager Dave Martinez told reporters Saturday.

It's unclear how much time he will miss.

This is a huge blow for the 40-40 Nationals, who won 14 of their final 17 games in June as Schwarber hit homers at a 1998 Sammy Sosa pace. 

Schwarber woke up on June 12 hitting .218 with a .404 slugging percentage. He proceeded to hit 16 home runs in his next 18 games and was hitting .253 with a .570 slugging percentage at the time of the injury.

The Nationals needed another hitter to get hot. Juan Soto has a .401 OBP and Trea Turner has been excellent all-around but prior to Schwarber's surge, there was nobody else in the lineup stressing out an opposing pitcher or manager. Teams have pitched around Soto all season.

Turner, too, has missed the Nationals' series against the Dodgers with a finger injury. He's day to day after jamming the finger while hitting for the cycle for the third time Wednesday. The only other player since the mid-1930s with three career cycles is Adrian Beltre.

The Phillies are 4-4 against the Nationals this season with three series left. The teams meet for four games at Citizens Bank Park July 26-29, then for four in D.C. the following week. The final series is Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at Nationals Park.

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