MILWAUKEE — Bryce Harper’s first trip to Milwaukee hasn’t been a good one. The Nationals’ rookie outfielder has struggled to keep his food down since the Nationals played their first game here on Thursday and he was scratched from Saturday night’s game with a stomach virus.
Harper appeared to be in good spirits on Saturday afternoon in the clubhouse but felt lightheaded during batting practice and visited with the doctors roughly an hour before game time when the decision was made for him to sit out, though he was available to play if necessary. Corey Brown took his spot in the lineup and in center field and notched his first career major league hit, which was a home run.
After missing the first full game since his April 28 call-up, both Nationals manager Davey Johnson and Harper said he would likely play in Sunday’s finale.
“The past three days I’ve been throwing up,” Harper said, adding that he was feeling a bit better after the Nationals’ 4-1 victory over the Brewers. Harper then described essentially three full days of vomiting, including keeping him up until 2 a.m. Thursday night and during the game on Friday.
“Just not feeling well at all,” he said. “My head’s like spinning everyday.”
Harper said he’d been able to keep some of his food down after being scratched from Saturday’s game, so that was a step in the right direction. The doctors said it was likely a virus that had to pass through his system.
“The doctor said he could be at just the end of a little virus or just catching something,” Johnson said. “But he said he’d be OK if I need to play him I could play him. I wasn’t going to.”
Harper, who figured the lightheadedness was a product of all the vomiting, was unhappy about being pulled from the game on Saturday and didn’t see a reason for him to miss Sunday’s finale against the Brewers.
“He was again driving people crazy on the bench,” Johnson said. “I’d just as soon have him run around out there.”
Original post (6:40 p.m.) — Bryce Harper has been scratched from tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers with what the Nationals are calling a “stomach virus.”
Harper appeared to be in good spirits Saturday afternoon and did take batting practice with the team, but it was announced roughly 30 minutes prior to gametime that the 19-year-old would not start tonight’s game.
Harper is available to pinch hit and play defensively if necessary.
On Friday morning, Nationals manager Davey Johnson conducted a radio interview with MLBNetwork and mentioned that Harper had been vomiting before Thursday night’s game at Miller Park, but Harper hadn’t missed a game yet with the stomach issues.
It would appear, however, he’s still dealing with some of those effects.
Harper has played in every game since his April 28 call-up and has only been out of the starting lineup twice, once when the team was in Boston and he was dealing with a sore back and once last weekend when he fouled a ball off his left ankle. Harper pinch hit in both games.
Outfielder Corey Brown will start in center field in place of Harper and take his No. 2 spot in the lineup against veteran lefty Randy Wolf.