One of MLB's top stars will likely miss significant time.
On Saturday night, San Diego Padres pitcher Blake Snell hit Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper on the hand with a 97.2-mph fastball. The 2021 NL MVP suffered a fractured left thumb that will sideline him indefinitely.
Per MLB.com's AJ Cassavell, Snell said the two texted each other after the game.
“He knows how I feel,” Snell said. “Obviously, I felt terrible hitting him. I just don't do that, and he knows that."
After getting hit, a frustrated Harper shouted at Snell. However, he appeared to acknowledge the incident was unintentional before leaving the field. Snell understood Harper's initial anger in the heat of the moment.
"We've talked; we've handled it. It was never anything. It's just emotional," Snell said. "He plays with a lot of passion, and I can understand why he'd be upset. I'm just as upset as he is. I hit him. I don't hit people. I just hope he recovers quickly and gets back out there and continues to compete."
Snell was holding the Phillies scoreless before hitting Harper in the fourth inning. The southpaw then crashed, allowing three runs in the fifth and another in the sixth. He admitted to being shaken by his opponent's injury.
"It definitely rattled me a little bit," Snell confessed. "I went out there, and I was starting off at-bats with balls, not as aggressive, not attacking the zone, like I was. It definitely changed the game a little bit."
The Phillies earned a 4-2 victory at Petco Park, but they didn't end the night in a celebratory mood.
Harper picked up right where he left off last year, batting .318/.385/.599 with 15 home runs and nine stolen bases in 64 games. Although the Phillies started to turn the corner after firing manager Joe Girardi, they trail the New York Mets by nine games in the NL East.
Losing Harper is major blow that Snell's Padres can relate to after playing the first three months without Fernando Tatis Jr. and the last week without MVP candidate Manny Machado.