Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper broke his left thumb Saturday night against the San Diego Padres trying to avoid an up-and-in pitch from Blake Snell.
Harper failed in his attempt to sidestep the pitch.
“I kind of wish it hit me in the face. I don’t break bones in my face. I think I can take 98 (mph) to the face, but not 97 to the thumb. Yeah, I was kind of in protection mode a little bit trying to get my hand up there and not let it hit me again,” the reigning National League MVP said after the game.
“It’s just a bummer. I am really bummed out.”
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Harper will be sidelined indefinitely with the broken left thumb.
Snell was clearly upset by what had happened. The two yelled at one another as Harper was leaving the field, but the outfielder explained what happened between him and the pitcher.
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“It wasn’t heated at all. It was just the moment and a crappy situation,” Harper said. “I’ve been playing against Blake since we were 10, 11 years old, so I know there was no ill will behind that at all. The inside pitch is part of the game. He is a great player and a great human being as well. I wish him the best, and I told him to keep throwing that inside fastball because it sets that slider really good.”
Snell texted Harper and said the two are on good terms and cleared the air.
“Obviously, I felt terrible hitting him. I don’t do that and he knows that,” Snell said. “We’ve talked, we’ve handled it. He plays with a lot of passion, and I can understand why he’d be upset. I’m just as upset as he is — I hit him. … I just hope he recovers quickly and gets back out there and continues to compete.”
Harper is likely heading for a lengthy IL stint.
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Harper was hitting .318 with a .985 OPS and 15 home runs before the injury.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.