During last night’s Phillies-Cardinals game, Bryce Harper was hit in the face with a 97 mph fastball out the hand of left-handed pitcher Genesis Cabrera. It became painfully obvious that Cabrera didn’t have “it” when he hit the very next batter, Didi Gregorius, with a fastball.
A manager used to have the authority to pull a pitcher whenever he wanted until last year’s “three batter minimum” rule was somehow passed, so now Cabrera was forced to face another hitter. Is that safe? I don’t think so.
Scary scene as Bryce Harper takes a HBP to the face but leaves the game under his own power pic.twitter.com/CCcVq1AMF0— Starting 9 (@Starting9) April 29, 2021
Ricky Bo and John Kruk respond to the Cardinals in the aftermath of Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius getting hit by a pitch: pic.twitter.com/I0iBym99Uf— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 29, 2021
I understand Phillies’ manager Joe Girardi being upset. Cabrera sucked that day, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Pitchers throw harder every year, and commissioner Rob Manfred thought forcing pitchers to face three hitters was a solid plan.
Well, that “pace of play” initiative could’ve cost the Philadelphia Phillies their season.
We know injury risk isn’t a concern of Manfred’s, but hopefully the MLBPA does something about this. We can’t have $330 million investments like Bryce Harper at risk because baseball can’t find authentic ways to appeal to younger generations.
Expect a benches-clearing brawl in this afternoon’s game that could’ve been avoided. And most importantly, Harper left a message to his Instagram on his condition: