MLB Predictions: Will Bryce Harper-less Nats beat Giants? 8/13/17

Giants, Nationals headed in different directions

The news is perhaps the best possible for the Nationals after Harper's injury on Saturday night, as his foot slipped off a wet first base as he was trying to beat out an infield single, and it slid awkwardly onto the infield directly below. The play was not pretty.

It had been raining for most of the night, as the game didn't start until around 10 p.m. E.T. following a three-hour rain delay. They are bound to be upset and anxious now.

Harper was making an MVP case for himself before the injury with a slash line of.326/.419/.614 to go with 29 home runs and 87 RBI. He is among the National League's leaders in batting average, home runs and RBIs this season.

San Francisco Giants' Gorkys Hernandez, right, steals second against Washington Nationals shortstop Wilmer Difo (1) during the fourth inning of the first baseball game of a split doubleheader, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in Washington.

"He's a quick learner", manager Dusty Baker said.

With Joe Ross announced out for the year after Tommy John surgery in July, the Nationals needed a fifth starting pitcher.

Harper was in severe and obvious pain, sending baseball fans into a frenzy, many believing the injury was a torn ACL. Jackson (2-2, 3.75 ERA with Washington) will be opposed by Giants right-hander Chris Stratton (0-2, 6.63), who will face the Nationals for the first time.

The Nats now hold a 14-game lead in the National League East and have the third best record in baseball overall, so even if they lose Harper for the rest of the regular season, it's not likely they fall to the bottom of the rankings. Goodwin stole second, and - after a missed a sign - Bryce Harper doubled off the wall with first base open and Ryan Zimmerman on deck. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

"The good thing is he's young and strong", Baker said.