The morning after he got hit in the face by a 97-mph fastball, Bryce Harper went through a battery of tests to determine if he suffered a concussion. The Phillies will know more about Harper’s condition after he sees team doctors Friday in Philadelphia.
But Harper also made sure to check in on the well-being of Cardinals reliever Génesis Cabrera.
Harper sent a message to Cabrera, St. Louis manager Mike Shildt told reporters after the game, in which he stated that he knew the 24-year-old lefty didn’t try to hit him intentionally. Cabrera drilled Harper and Didi Gregorius with his first two pitches of the sixth inning Wednesday night and apologized after the game for his lack of command.
“Whoever’s a fan of Bryce Harper, whoever has children that are fans of Bryce Harper, support that guy,” Shildt said. “Because what he sent over in a message today was completely a class act.”
Neither Harper nor Gregorius played Thursday in the Phillies’ 10-inning, 4-3 loss. Gregorius, who got hit in the right side near the ribs, finished the game Wednesday night but felt sore upon waking up.
“Didi loosened up as the day went on, so we feel better about him,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “They’ll both be evaluated when they get home.”
Harper, who was in the dugout during the game Thursday, left the field Wednesday night without assistance but with blood smeared on his left cheek near his nose. He was taken to a St. Louis area hospital for a CT scan. After the game, a 5-3 Phillies victory, he posted a video on Instagram in which he said, “Everything feels good. Face is still there. We’re all good.”
Asked if Harper would need to be placed on the seven-day concussion list and go through protocols before being cleared to play, Girardi said, “We’ll have our doctors make that call.”
The Phillies’ depth was tested in the series finale against the Cardinals. In Harper’s absence, Roman Quinn started in right field. Rookie infielder Nick Maton slid over to shortstop, while Scott Kingery played second base in his first start of the season.
Second baseman Jean Segura has been on the injured list for the past week with a strained right quadriceps.
With two out in the ninth inning and the game tied, Phillies closer Héctor Neris hit Cardinals slugger Nolan Arenado in the back with a first-pitch fastball.
Retaliation for Harper and Gregorius?
“Not that I’m aware of,” Girardi said.
The Cardinals begged to differ. And they were fine with it.
“That’s old-school baseball,” Shildt said. “A couple of their guys got drilled pretty good, so you can expect some retaliation. It was done as clean as possible. And we move on. That’s how the game polices itself.”
Shildt got ejected in the ninth inning but not for contesting the hit by pitch. He said he was arguing a called strike.
Center fielder Odúbel Herrera finished 0-for-4 and made an error that enabled Andrew Knizner to take an extra base on a single in the fifth inning. He’s 0-for-12 since getting called up Monday.
“I’m sure he’s pressing,” Girardi said, “just because of the situation that he’s in. We’ve got to get him to relax a little bit.”
Herrera will play at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night for the first time since his Memorial Day 2019 arrest on assault charges and subsequent suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy.
Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-5 with an RBI double, marking only his second multi-hit game of the season. After sitting out two games early in the week, he’s 3-for-8 over the last two games. “The last thing you want to do when you’re playing is [stink],” McCutchen said Wednesday night. “You don’t want to [stink]. Right now I have been [stinking].” ... Maton snapped an 0-for-11 spell with two hits. ... Chase Anderson will start Friday night at home against the New York Mets. He’ll be opposed by Marcus Stroman, who held the Phillies to two runs in 12 innings in two previous starts this season.