Have you ever wondered what it’s like getting hit in the face with a 97 MPH sinking fastball? If you have not and want to know, just tweet at Bryce Harper because he has the first-hand experience.
The All-Star was forced to leave Wednesday night’s game after getting hit by the pitch. It looked like the ball ricocheted off his wrist, but the replay showed that once the ball left Genesis Cabrera’s hand, it did not stop until it connected with Harper’s face.
Harper took the pitch like a champ and barely spent any time on the ground, but this had to be the shock of the moment because he was drilled.
Cabrera then proceeded to hit Didi Gregorius on the next pitch. A big leaguer striking two batters may sound suspicious, but these pegs were not intentional. Cabrera simply had no control of the baseball.
Bryce Harper: Quick Trip to the Emergency Room
After Harper was hit by the pitch and the replay was shown on the board, the air left the stadium. The game was in St. Louis, which is suitable for two reasons. Phillies fans could only swear at their television, and Genesis Cabrera did not die from rioting Philadelphians.
The outfielder was immediately taken to the hospital to undergo testing. He was given a CT scan, and nothing was abnormal. The Phillies tweeted a video of Harper after he received his test results.
Harper said, “Everything came back good, the CT, all of that kind of stuff. The face is still there, so we are all good. See you all soon.” Harper’s name was not in the lineup today, which is not surprising. He did get hit in the face by a 97 MPH fastball, but I expect the franchise player to be back soon.
Comments from Genesis Cabrera and Joe Girardi
Genesis Cabrera did not mean to hit Bryce Harper or Didi Gregorius, but he still apologized for his actions. There is no excuse for a big leaguer hitter two batters with fastballs on back-to-back pitches.
In the postgame press conference Cabrera said,
“I want to again apologize for all the actions that happened. Especially to Harper, I really wish him the best, and I hope he has a speedy recovery with whatever it is that happened and then be able to come back to baseball activities. The game kind of got away from me at that point. And I’m really sorry for everything that happened today. None of it was intentional. And again, I’m sorry.”
After Joe Girardi saw Harper and Gregorius go down in the box, he was not pleased. All hell broke loose when the umpires warned both benches. The skipper had a rant of the century that was partially covered by his mask, but after he was tossed, he did tell Cabrera to “throw the ball over the f-ing plate!”
When Girardi was questioned about the incident after the game, he said,
“I understand why they give the warnings, right. They don’t want things to escalate. They don’t want people to get hit. But if a guy hits a guy in the face and a guy in the ribs with two pitches, he’s got to go, right? If you’re really protecting the players, obviously he doesn’t have command. He’s got to go. I mean, now I got a shortstop that probably might have to have imaging on his ribs. And you’re going to let him stay in the game. He’s got to go. Just for the safety of the players.”
Everything Girardi said is valid, and I think it’s disgraceful that Cabrera was not ejected for his lack of command. It’s unclear when Harper or Gregorius will return, but it does not appear like either player will need to go on the injured list.
Tanner Kern is a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.