NEW YORK -- The Phillies’ slim postseason chances may have been dealt a knockout blow on Friday night after Bryce Harper left the series opener against the Mets after he was hit in the hand by a pitch.
The Phillies said Harper left the game with a “right-hand contusion" and X-rays were negative but Harper is unsure about his status for Saturday. His right hand was wrapped up after a 5-4 loss and he said he could not grip a bat.
“So if I can’t do that, I shouldn’t be in,” Harper said.
Harper was hit in the right hand in the third inning by a 92 mph pitch from Steven Matz. The first-pitch of the at-bat was headed for Harper’s head before he lifted his hands while trying to get out of the way. Harper was visited by the team’s training staff but stayed in the game to run the bases before leaving at the end of the inning.
“Any time it squares you up a little bit, it’s scary,” Harper said. “Definitely wanted to get on first and keep the game going. But yeah, it wasn’t good.”
The Phillies entered Friday with a four-game deficit behind the Cubs for the National League’s second wild-card spot. FanGraphs gave them a 1.9-percent chance to make the playoffs, the lowest among the 16 major-league teams that have odds greater than zero.
It was already difficult to imagine the Phillies rallying past the Cubs this month, but it will be nearly impossible if Harper’s injury is anything more than just a scare.