The Phillies may have lost more than an important game on Sunday.
They may have lost an important player, too.
Bryce Harper left the 6-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays with an injury in the seventh inning. He appeared to injure himself while chasing down a ball in the gap in the top of the inning.
After the game, manager Joe Girardi revealed that Harper was experiencing lower back stiffness. It didn't sound serious, but with just seven games to play in the regular season and a playoff spot hanging in the balance for the already banged-up Phillies, losing Harper for any amount of time would hurt.
The Phils are 27-26 with seven games remaining, all on the road.
The Phils entered Sunday clinging to the seventh spot in a tight the NL postseason chase.
Adonis Medina became the seventh rookie pitcher to make his major-league debut for the Phillies this season. The right-hander's command was not good — he threw 84 pitches over just four innings — but his results weren't all that bad. He exited the game trailing just 2-1.
Medina gave up three hits and walked three batters. Both of the runs he allowed came in the first inning on a walk, a double, a single and a balk. Both of the hits were balls that bounced off the glove of Phillies infielders. Bo Bichette’s RBI double actually would have been a foul ball hadn’t first baseman Alec Bohm gotten a glove on it, and Lourdes Gurriel’s RBI single through a drawn-in infield ricocheted off shortstop Didi Gregorius’ glove. Game of inches.
The Phillies' bullpen came up huge in a taut 3-1 victory over the Jays on Saturday night.
It did not come up huge in this close game.
Right-hander Heath Hembree entered with the Phils down a run in the top of the sixth. He allowed a leadoff double to Gurriel then got two outs before walking Joe Panik on four pitches. Jonathan Davis then doubled to the left-field wall to score two runs.
In the seventh, Hembree was touched for a one-out triple by Bichette and a two-run homer to dead center by Teoscar Hernandez on a 3-0 pitch.
Hembree has pitched poorly since being acquired from Boston a week before the trade deadline. In 9⅓ innings, he has given up 17 hits, including a whopping seven homers, and 13 runs.
Bohm's play in the first ultimately cost the Phils two runs. Hembree might have put up a zero in the sixth inning if left fielder Adam Haseley had gotten a better jump on Davis' two-out double to the wall. Statcast put a 70 percent catch probability on the play.
Haseley also failed to make a play on a catchable ball at the right-field wall in the eighth inning of Thursday night's 5-4 loss to the Mets.
The Phillies play four games in Washington over the next three days. Tuesday is a doubleheader. Here are the pitching matchups for the series:
Monday night: RHP Zack Wheeler (4-0, 2.62) vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-5, 7.38)
Tuesday (Game 1): RHP Aaron Nola (5-3, 2.92) vs. RHP Austin Voth (0-5, 7.17)
Tuesday (Game 2): Matchup to be determined
Wednesday night: RHP Zach Eflin (3-2, 4.28) vs. RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 4.36)
The Phils catch a break by not seeing Max Scherzer or Patrick Corbin in the series.