Bryce Harper thought at first that his impaired vision Sunday was related to his allergies. He saw spots when he was in the outfield during the fifth inning of a 3-2 loss to the Padres, returned to the dugout, and squirted drops into his eyes.
“But it just wouldn’t go away,” he said. “And I can’t really play with vision like that.”
The Phillies immediately lifted Harper from the game, discovered that their star right fielder was dehydrated, and hooked him up to an IV. They lost him for the rest of the game, but it was a relief that it was just dehydration on a humid afternoon and not something more serious.
“I feel better now. It’s weird,” said Harper, who asked the TV camera crews to turn their lights down as he still had a lingering headache. “An hour ago, I couldn’t see in front of me, kind of. Now I feel fine.”
It was 90 degrees for the first pitch Sunday and the humidity seemed to climb through the afternoon. The Phillies are off on Monday, which allows Harper time to recover before Tuesday’s series opener with Boston at Fenway Park.
“I don’t think this series is the way we thought it would go," Harper said. "So, going into Boston, it’s a good team, a good atmosphere. So we’ve got two in Boston, take care of business there hopefully, then go into Miami and take care of business there.”
Harper walked, singled, and scored a run on Sunday before being lifted. He also threw out a runner at second base for his ninth assist of the season, which equaled his combined total for his final two seasons with the Nationals. He has four homers in his last five games and has a .939 OPS since the All-Star Game was played without him. Harper seems to be heating up for the season’s final stretch.
It was immediately unclear on Sunday why Harper was pulled from the game after a team trainer huddled with manager Gabe Kapler. A trip to the injured list -- even just the minimum of 10 days -- seemed like something that could sink the Phillies’ playoff hopes. Instead, they will cling to those with Harper on their five-game road trip.
“I think as a team we are playing really good baseball right now, taking the extra bag when we can, playing hard, playing good defense, and things like that,” Harper said. “So we have to just keep on the path, keep playing our game, and we’ll be right where we need to be hopefully at the end.”
J.T. Realmuto threw out a would-be base stealer for the 28th time Sunday, the most by a Phillies catcher since Mike Lieberthal threw out 35 in 1997. ... Harper’s nine outfield assists are the most by a Phillies right fielder since Jayson Werth had 10 in 2009. ... Jean Segura is batting .333 in his last 27 games after recording his team-leading 40th multihit game of the season. ... Aaron Nola will start Tuesday at Fenway Park.