MLB Predictions: Will Bryce Harper-less Nats beat Giants? 8/13/17

San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Hunter Strickland delivers during the eighth inning of the first baseball game of a split doubleheader against the Washington Nationals Sunday Aug. 13 2017 in Washington

MLB Predictions: Will Bryce Harper-less Nats beat Giants? 8/13/17

The Nationals went on to win Saturday's game over the San Francisco Giants, 3-1, to advance their record to 69-45 on the season.

It had been raining for most of the night, as the game didn't start until around 10 p.m. E.T. following a three-hour rain delay. Jones jumped to his feet and raced to the bag to beat Harper by a step and a half, but when Harper did reach the bag, disaster ensued.

Haper stayed on the ground in serious pain, and had to be helped off the field.

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Harper is hitting.326 with 29 homers and 89 RBIs in 106 games and 402 at-bats for the first-place Nationals, who entered the day 14 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Miami Marlins in the National League East.

The San Francisco Giants lost a rain-soaked contest against the Washington Nationals on Saturday night, but it was the Nationals that took the bigger long-term hit on a rain-soaked evening in the nation's capital.

It was easy to assume that Harper was gone for the season, and it was just as easy to start worry about when he would be back in 2018.

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The 28-year-old Virginia native had a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning on Wednesday, leading San Francisco to its fourth win in five outings with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

If Harper is out, it's a more devastating injury to the Nationals' World Series hopes than when Ramos' season ended prematurely a year ago.

The Nationals said Harper suffered a "significant bone bruise", but they are hopeful he will return to the field in 2017. Only moisture. The Nationals delayed the first pitch for a half-hour and had the field tarped under partly sunny skies because of an approaching thunderstorm. "I'm very optimistic that he'll be at least fine shortly". Fellow outfielder Michael Taylor (right oblique strain) was activated from the 10-day disabled list in a corresponding move and will assume Harper's spot on the active roster for the time being. The top four in their starting rotation have avoided major problems, though Stephen Strasburg is one of Washington's 11 players on the disabled list.

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