NEW YORK — Bryce Harper will not be in the Nationals' lineup for the second half of their day-night doubleheader after taking a 97-mph fastball to his left shin in the opener against the Mets.
Harper was struck in his back leg by Noah Syndergaard's sixth-inning pitch, falling to the ground in pain. He managed to stay in the game and two innings later hit the 2-run homer that propelled the Nationals to a 3-1 victory, but afterward had his leg wrapped in ice and was limping around the visitors' clubhouse at Citi Field.
"It felt like he threw it through me," he said following Game 1. "Not very fun to get hit in the shin with a heater like that. We'll see how I feel going into the second game. I want that RBI, so hopefully I can play tonight, see how I feel. But I won't push it."
Harper is attempting to drive in 100 runs for the first time in his career, still one shy of the century mark. He's also trying to win the NL batting title. After going 1-for-3 in Saturday afternoon's game, his batting average rose to .331. Miami's Dee Gordon had one hit in his first two at-bats Saturday in the opener of his team's doubleheader in Philadelphia, raising his batting average to .329.
"It would be awesome," Harper said of a 100-RBI season. "It's something that would be great for me. It would be the first time in my career. I had 98 in college, so I was two away. I don't want to get stuck at 99."