At this point, the question isn’t whether Bryce Harper is injured. It’s how seriously he’s injured.
Which leads to the inevitable quandary: Should he play anymore this season for the Nationals?
Harper, of course, wouldn’t even dignify that question with a response if presented the opportunity. He always believes he can — and should — play, no matter how banged up he might be at any given moment.
He’s also the biggest believer inside the Nationals clubhouse that this team still has a chance to play in October, despite what the standings suggest. Even though the Nats did their part last week, going 4-2 against the Phillies and Marlins, the Reds most certainly didn’t do their part to help the cause, going a staggering 6-1 against the Cardinals and Dodgers, thus extending their lead for the NL’s final Wild Card berth to 8 games with only 20 to play.
Yes, the Pirates (losers of four straight since snapping their 20-year streak of losing seasons and winding up on the cover of Sports Illustrated) now need to be included in this conversation, since they’re tied with Cincinnati. But even if the Nationals go 14-6 to finish the season, Pittsburgh would only need to go 7-13 to keep D.C. out of the playoffs.