Bryce Harper Goes Down, Michael Bourn Reacts, and a Great Win on a Brutal Night

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

As you probably know, the human thumb is not meant to withstand a direct hit from a baseball traveling at 97.2 mph.

In this way, it wasn’t much of a surprise when the Phillies announced late last night (or early Sunday morning local time) that a season-altering Blake Snell four-seamer which crashed into Bryce Harper’s left thumb during the fourth inning of a 4-2 win did indeed break it.

If the visual and sound didn’t provide an immediate tell, Harper’s reaction sure did:

So, now what?

Harper will head to the injured list. For how long, nobody yet knows, but it will surely be for a significant period of time.

Mickey Moniak will take Harper’s roster spot, at least for now. There will be lots of talk about slumping hitters like J.T. Realmuto and Nick Castellanos needing to step up, and that’s true. Now would be a good time for both big-money players to start producing as such, but there’s simply no replacing Harper’s offensive impact. In 64 games season, he is hitting .318 with a .984 OPS and 15 home runs.

Despite the Phillies’ stunning resurgence this month, chasing down a postseason spot after digging such a massive early-season hole was always going to be a challenge.

Now, it’s an even greater one.

If the Phillies do survive Harper’s injury, increased production from a number of players on the current 40-man roster will likely be coupled with external fortifications. Perhaps they find another bat or two, much the way the Braves did when Ronald Acuña Jr. went down last season. Maybe they solidify other areas of weakness such as the bullpen.

The coming days and weeks will tell the story. For now, however, in the immediate aftermath of what is nothing other than a crushing blow to the Phillies’ postseason aspirations, I think Michael Bourn’s unfiltered reaction sums things up best:

 

 

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