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Harper's Phillies teammates react to his scary fall into dugout

Harper's Phillies teammates react to his scary fall into dugout originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies' first two games of the season have been borderline disastrous, but if there was one silver lining Saturday, it was that Bryce Harper appeared to avoid serious injury after taking a scary fall into the dugout going after a foul ball.

The play occurred in the first inning of the Phils' 12-4 loss. Austin Riley popped up in foul ground and Harper, a newcomer to first base, pursued the ball without realizing how far he had drifted. He flipped over the Phillies' dugout railing and into the camera well. Silence fell over the crowd of 44,468, but after about 10 seconds that felt like 10 minutes, Harper got up and went back to first base.

He remained in the game until the top of the eighth when Edmundo Sosa entered and Alec Bohm shifted over to first base. Harper was not removed because of the flip, Thomson said, but rather to get him off his feet in the late innings of an eight-run deficit.

"He's probably going to be a little sore tomorrow I would think," Thomson said.

The aggressiveness is appreciated by Harper's teammates and fans, but he's too important a player to the Phillies to play with that level of reckless abandon. One out isn't worth months on the shelf.

"Sure, but it's Bryce," Thomson said. "He's going to play the game hard all the time. It's tough to rein him in, that's just the way he is."

From Aaron Nola's vantage point, it looked bad.

"Oh man, I'm really glad that he didn't hurt himself as bad as I thought he did," Nola said. "It looked like he hurt his neck pretty bad from my angle. But that's the kind of player he is, he's gonna go all out for the ball and do everything for this team to win. I hope he's alright."

It was a tough luck day all around for Harper, who was robbed of extra bases by a diving Jarred Kelenic in the left-center-field gap, then later rocketed a line drive right to first baseman Matt Olson, who doubled off Trea Turner.

"Knew that wasn't good," Turner said of the Harper scare in the first inning. "You never want to see that. But he's tough, he's a superhero. He got a little nicked up but popped right back up. You expect that from him because he grinds it out. Definitely doesn't feel good and you don't want to see that happen."

Barring anything unforeseen, Harper should be in the lineup Sunday when the Phillies look to avoid a sweep. Lefty Chris Sale will make his Braves debut.