NEW YORK -- The Phillies kept their playoff hopes alive Sunday with a win over the Mets, but the most important factor for their October chances came in the seventh inning when Bryce Harper was able to come off the bench as a pinch hitter.
Harper’s right hand remained sore enough on Sunday morning for him to be out of the lineup for the second-straight game after being hit by a pitch on Friday night. But the Phillies felt confident about Harper’s status when they used him on Sunday.
He wore a protective pad over his right batting glove and worked a bases-loaded walk to record his career-high 101st RBI.
“In my mind, he’s going to be ready to play (Monday),” Gabe Kapler said after a 10-7 win over the Mets. “But we’ll check him out and evaluate him after the game. We’ll check him out and evaluate him (Monday) and make sure it’s safe to have him go out there and play.”
Harper swung and missed at two of Tyler Bashlor’s fastballs before fouling off three-straight pitches in a full count against the Mets right-hander. He stayed alive and Bashlor threw ball four.
“He came off the bench and worked a really good at-bat and looked like he was on every single pitch,” said Kapler
The Phillies won two-straight games without Harper in the lineup, but their path to October would be difficult if they played this week against Atlanta and Boston with Harper on the bench.
The Phillies survived a scare on Friday after Harper’s injury was ruled a contusion, and his X-ray results were negative. He was replaced on Saturday and Sunday in right field by Adam Haseley.
Because rosters expanded in September, there was no reason to consider moving Harper to the injured list since the Phillies are unable to add an extra player. Kapler was asked if Harper would be an injured-list candidate had the injury occurred earlier in the season, and the manager said he would “assume not.”
“He’s the kind of guy that you go day to day with and wait until he’s ready,” Kapler said. “He’s an excellent healer. He recovers very well from just about everything that goes on. So I feel pretty good about his chances to start for us (Monday).”