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Bryce Harper injured on check swing; leaves game

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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper injures himself on a check swing and left the game in the 6th inning tonight.

USA TODAY Sports

I was just watching the Braves-Nationals game tonight and saw Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper injure himself on a check swing. He appeared to be in pain afterward. He then hit a screaming one-hop ground ball to Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and did not it out due to the pain. That is very unlike Harper, who runs out all ground balls.

Manager Davey Johnson and the Nationals trainer talked to him in the dugout afterward, and it appeared that Harper was trying to talk Johnson out of taking him out of the game. Johnson did take him out of the game and he was replaced by Roger Bernadina to start the bottom of the 6th inning.

Harper may have strained an oblique on the check swing, and may miss a few games as a result. Worst case scenario, he lands on the DL for 15 days.

Harper has had a great start to the 2013 season, hitting .337-.427-.705 with 9 home runs and 18 RBI. With Ryan Zimmerman on the DL and Jayson Werth hurting with an ankle injury, the Nationals lineup is pretty thin at this point. Shortstop Ian Desmond hit in the cleanup spot for the first time this season tonight.