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Phillies star Bryce Harper ‘feels good’ after taking 97 mph pitch to face

The All Star slugger appeared to be relatively unscathed after being struck by a Genesis Cabrera fastball

Jack Rathborn@JackRathborn
Thursday 29 April 2021 16:33
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Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper insists he “feels good” despite being hit in the face by a 96.9 mph fastball pitch.

The All Star slugger was stunned during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals following Genesis Cabrera’s first pitch in the sixth inning.

The accident, which saw the ball catch Harper flush on his left cheek, led to Harper collapsing, before he picked himself up with blood dripping from a cut on his nose.

“Everything feels good,” Harper said on Instagram, with the 28-year-old undergoing a CT scan and other testing. “Everything came back good.”

The minor swelling and bruising to his cheek in the video was a positive sign, with Harper adding: “Face is still there, so we’re all good.”

Cabrera was in dangerous form, with his very next pitch drilling Didi Gregorius. It prompted Phillies manager Joe Girardi to emerge from his dugout to remonstrate with plate umpire Chris Segal, leading to his ejected.

“I’m very sorry for Bryce Harper,” Cabrera said through an translator. “I want to again to apologise to all of the action that happened, especially to Harper. I really wish him the best and I hope he has a speedy recovery. The game got away from me. I’m really sorry for everything that happened. It was not intentional.”

After calming down, Girardi admitted he thought it was an accident, but that the danger of his players was jeopardised and should have seen Cabrera pulled from the game.

“I’ve been hit in the face, broke my nose. It’s scary,” Girardi said when questioned on the incident. “I don’t think he did it on purpose. I’m not saying that. But for the protection of the players, he has to go.”

Matt Joyce ran for Harper, while Gregorius remained in the game. Cabrera allowed an RBI single to Andrew McCutchen the next at-bat before being pulled.

Harper grounded out and struck out in his first two at-bats. Gregorius doubled and struck out in his two at-bats.

Harper, in the third year of a $330 million, 13-year deal, entered the game hitting .329, including .432 over his last 10 games.

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