Giants, Nationals headed in different directions

Faith Castro
August 14, 2017

The Nationals play 48 more games in 2017. It's been more than a month since manager Bruce Bochy addressed Morse's health on the record, and he said he hoped that Morse might be able to return to the club in September.

Edwin Jackson, the Washington starter and victor, said, "You hope for the best".

But the pitching of Jackson and hitting of Lind was overshadowed by the Harper injury.

On Saturday, he consistently shut down Cubs threats while scattering five hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Nationals now lead the Giants 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning.

Should Strickland and Harper face off this weekend, it's unlikely that any fireworks would take place. The San Francisco Giants hand the ball to right hander Jeff Samardzija for Sunday's start at the Washington Nationals.

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The Nationals are 45-43 when Harper is on the DL. He gave up two runs in the first inning and one more in the fifth, walking four total batters and surrendering five hits.

The injury to Harper opens up playing time in the outfield but would present a hard challenge if he's not ready by the start of the postseason. The 2015 NL MVP is 10-for-28 with two homers, seven RBIs and six runs scored in his last seven contests, but went 0-for-8 with four strikeouts during Washington's three-game sweep of San Francisco.

Harper's loss will be felt by a team that is on pace to win 97 games yet will enter October as nobody's favorite because of the historic dominance that has happened at Dodger Stadium this season.

Based on examinations and results of an MRI, the team said it's possible Harper will play again this season, which prompted a sigh of relief throughout the clubhouse, front office and fan base.

"You're just thinking, 'Please, Lord, don't let it be serious, '" Baker said.

"The good thing is he's young and strong", Baker said. He sprinted over the dugout rail and had a balled fist trained on Harper's jaw before he collided with Giants first baseman Michael Morse - a knocking of heads that put Morse on the disabled list with a concussion that likely will end his career.

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