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Bryce Harper receives 10 stitches above left eye after slamming bat into wall

May 12, 2012, 12:16 AM EDT

Bryce Harper AP AP

Bryce Harper had the worst game of his brief major league career during the Nationals’ 7-3 win over the Reds tonight. And it’s not just because he went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Harper needed 10 stitches above his left eye after slamming his bat up against a wall and having it come back and hit him in the face. Seriously.

Harper took his frustrations out on a wall in the tunnel after grounding out to begin the seventh inning. He remained in the game after the incident and returned to the field in the bottom of the seventh with blood streaking down the side of his face. The picture to the right is from his at-bat in the ninth inning.

The 19-year-old outfielder emerged in the clubhouse after the game with what Kilgore describes as a “golf ball-sized welt” on his forehead and “clumps of blood” in his hair.

“I just got caught up in the moment,” Harper said. “I want to do so well. It just got me.”

Nationals manager Davey Johnson suggested that Harper could sit out one or two games for precautionary reasons, but the precocious rookie doesn’t think he’ll need to miss any time.

Harper obviously let his emotions get the best of him here, which isn’t unusual for a teenager, but the good news is that he managed to avoid serious injury. And hey, at least it inspired Ian Desmond to give him a new nickname. You can now call him “Bam Bam.”

  1. kvschnitz - May 12, 2012 at 12:18 AM


  2. dawglb - May 12, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Suspend his bat, why don’t ya?

    • goskinsvt - May 12, 2012 at 12:23 AM

      Lucky it didn’t come back into his eye. That being said, the guy plays with passion and wants to do well, can’t blame him for that.

      • georgia - May 12, 2012 at 12:51 AM

        I agree. I like the passion. At least he didn’t hit someone else with the bat or something. Sure, injuring himself a little never looks good, but a lot of players have done worse.

    • marshmallowsnake - May 12, 2012 at 3:08 AM

      Hasn’t that already happened? It is why he got injured in the first place.

  3. dgatz - May 12, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    and then there was blood

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 12, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Guy obviously has a lot of passion but he’s going to need to learn how to keep his emotions in check.

  5. jimmymarlinsfan - May 12, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    I’d say bat 1 harpers eye 0….but that doesntly really appear to be the case either with the 0fer

  6. metalhead65 - May 12, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    another great night of managing by the one and only dusty baker for the reds tonight. aside from his usual who do I put in left field tonight and we must keep rolen in the lineup at all times except for a day game after a night one he decides it would be a good night to wear out his bullpen in a lost cause. why not just leave leake in the game to take 1 for the team? the game was over after he gave up 6 in 2 innings is there really a reason to use 4 more pitchers after?if you are going to take him out then why not use your long relief man lecure? he is in that role for a reason right? no better to use everybody else at least an inning but more importantly a batter or 2. now listen to him whine about the pen being over used because they do not have a day off til the end of this month when he has to go them again when their new ace latos does his best edison volqez imitation tom. the volquez who pitched for the reds not the one having a stellar year so far with the padres.

    • jjschiller - May 12, 2012 at 1:11 AM

      They got this new thing. It’s called a “comma.” It looks like this: , . You can use it to separate thoughts, to clarify interjections, or to separate items in a list, as I’ve done here. (Advanced users might note that interjection at the end there.)

      • metalhead65 - May 12, 2012 at 4:12 AM

        thankyou,Mr. grammar police,I do not, know what, I would,do without, going to, sports blogs,and having, this pointed,out to, me. sure would, hate to,actually talk, about you,know sports.

      • baseballisboring - May 12, 2012 at 4:24 AM

        We’re all here to talk about sports. Basic coherence shouldn’t be too much to ask.

      • The Baseball Idiot - May 12, 2012 at 6:34 AM

        Actually, baseball is secondary to the conversations that go on around here. It’s just the common thread for the tapestry that is the HBT comments section.

        You are correct, however, in stating that basic coherence should be the rule of the day. Well above civility and sense.

      • cur68 - May 12, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        Perhaps a soupçon of Mr. Shift Key, metal? Just to y’know, start the sentence off with and the like. Like this: “Dang you, Dusty baker! Dang you to heck!”

  7. blarry21 - May 12, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Dude is gonna be a beast. He is the one who is old school!

    • WhyDoIActuallyCare - May 12, 2012 at 2:47 AM

      Back in my day, we hit Gatorade cans, not walls…

    • delawarephilliesfan - May 12, 2012 at 8:32 AM

      Give you a tip on war of words – pick your own phrase. Jimmy Rollins said the Philles were the team to beat in January 2007 – right after the Mets won the division by 12 games in 2006. Every time some Mets would use that phrase in subsesuent years, it sounded hollow because they were just parroting Rollins:

      When someone says “We’re the team to beat”, the come back can not be “No you aren’t, We are the Team to Beat!” Same goes here. You need to find your own phrase

  8. caps247 - May 12, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Everyone gets hit by this kind of Emotional wave at least a few (aka a lot) of times in their careers. I don’t blame him for being upset with his performance – who would?

    He should learn to use his anger as fuel to get home runs.

  9. thephilsabide - May 12, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Only Bryce Harper could go 0-5 with 3 strike outs and nearly give himself a career ending injury because he can’t control his emotions, and people will say things like “Dude’s gonna be a beast!”. Can everyone do me a favor and give him some time to prove himself before you push for him to be a first ballot Hall of Famer? I mean, I wish the kid my best but c’mon….

    • madhatternalice - May 12, 2012 at 1:47 AM

      It might be difficult for you to understand, given the Phillies track record over the last five years, but for those of us who have been Nationals fans since day one, sitting through seven seasons of mediocre baseball and a string of forgettable pitchers, to finally have a team that is not only winning, but in first place of the NL East? Yeah, players like Strasburg and Harper make us hopeful. So please, please can your cynicism, and let us enjoy this. We’ve earned it.

      • stercuilus65 - May 12, 2012 at 5:14 AM

        You’ve “earned” squat.

      • schmedley69 - May 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM

        Judging by the Nats attendance and TV ratings over the years, there aren’t many others like you who have been fans since day one. You haven’t “earned” anything either. Try sitting through 20 straight years of mediocre baseball, like Phillies fans did from the mid-80’s to mid-2000’s. No one cried any tears for us. In fact, they kicked us when we were down. Now that we are 5-time division champs, we aren’t going to sit by and hand the crown over to a team like the Nats who are leading the division in early May and think that they have already won something. The Nats have some good, young players, but they are totally unproven over the long haul. Once the Nats win the division (and that day may never come), then you have earned the right to crow. Until then, we will remain cynical and try to put some of the newly minted Nats fans who are talking trash back in their place.

      • madhatternalice - May 12, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        @stercuilius65: thanks for the well thought out response.

        @schmedley69: i’m pretty sure i didn’t ask for sympathy, or a river of tears. also pretty sure i didn’t ask for the nats and harper to be crowned the best in baseball. last i checked, the phillies were the reigning world champs. i was, in fact, simply responding to a comment about the praise harper has been receiving. no, i have no quantifiable metric for determining how many Nats fans there have been over the years. all i can speak for is myself, as a season ticket holder since they moved here. as far as “think that they have already won something,” well, yes, i think the nats believe they’re playing the best baseball in (dc) franchise history, and that’s vertainly something to be proud of. it is possible to take pride in the accomplishments of a team without demeaning those of another team. or is that too subtle for ya? just like hamels, i have no idea why philly fans (and really, it’s primarily phillies fans, both here and on other sites) feel like they need to be the arbiters of what should be and what shouldn’t be. take pride in your team, by all means. but don’t you dare try to tell me how much pride i should take in mine.

    • The Baseball Idiot - May 12, 2012 at 6:36 AM

      At least they haven’t given him the ability to walk on water. Yet.

      • leerosenthall - May 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        Heh, he certainly is giving off a “crown of thorns” vibe in that photo posted.

  10. Adam Seidel - May 12, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Like any 19 year old, his performance will be boosted when he learns to keep a more level head.

    • WhyDoIActuallyCare - May 12, 2012 at 2:51 AM

      I’d say his head was pretty level. Unfortunately, it was level with the bat barrel…

  11. randygnyc - May 12, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    I’d much rather have a passionate player than one that is devoid of any feeling.

  12. yahmule - May 12, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    I’d rather have Mike Trout.

  13. lameasish - May 12, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Give Cole another few games

  14. dowhatifeellike - May 12, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Hormones: 1
    Self-control: 0

  15. Spiro Agnew - May 12, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    this is just too funny

  16. mississippimusicman - May 12, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    At least he didn’t punch a wall and break his hand, like some player does about once a year.

    • stercuilus65 - May 12, 2012 at 5:15 AM

      Give him time, after all he almost took his eye out this time.

  17. storebrandcookies - May 12, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    Aww, wish there was a video of it.

  18. buffalomafia - May 12, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Dumb ass!

  19. philly4lyfe - May 12, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Roid rage?

  20. thephilsabide - May 12, 2012 at 5:12 AM

    Please, don’t pull the “we’ve suffered for long enough” card on me. As hard as this is to believe, I liked the Phils since before they were good. Roughly 17 years before they were good. And I understand that he is exciting but all I ask is that he prove himself before we give him all this credit. Dude will most likely be great one day. But he’s nothing more than a highly anticipated prospect in roughly his 15th game. Be excited…fine. But this hysteria is getting out of hand. And yes, congrats on being in 1st. I can only sit back and hope the Phils get their shit together and knock your asses outta there.

  21. Walk - May 12, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    Add this to the list i guess, rock (wall) beats bat.

  22. joewilliesshnoz - May 12, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    The only thing missing was a little blood , now he really is the whole package !

  23. papalurchdxb - May 12, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    I will be greatly disappointed if Mstr. Harper is not forever referred to as “Bam-Bam” with immediate effect – absolute class!! The rest of you just need to chill out.

  24. seanb20124 - May 12, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    “Welcome to the nations capital.”

    Gus Frerotte

  25. haligert - May 12, 2012 at 6:11 AM

    Harper is fortunate that his “fit” only affected him. Yes, would rather have a player with passion, just learn how to use it without hurting yourself (and this comes from a Phillies fan of 45 yars). I love this game and he’s a “promising” and exciting player.

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