One day after exiting a game with lower back discomfort, Phillies star Bryce Harper is back in the lineup at DH on Monday against Washington. Late in a loss Sunday against the Blue Jays, Harper was seen exiting the game and giving an explanation to manager Joe Girardi in the dugout. On Monday, Harper was in Girardi's lineup in the No. 2 spot. for their series opener.
Harper, 27, is hitting .260/.407/.521 with 11 homers in 215 plate appearances this season.
As well, Girardi said that catcher J.T. Realmuto, who's been sidelined for the last 10 games with a strained left hip flexor, should be available to pinch-hit on Monday. Slugger Rhys Hoskins, however, remains sidelined with an elbow injury.
With seven games to go, the Phillies are 27-26 and hold a 1/2 game lead over the Reds, Brewers and Giants for the seventh seed in the NL. Take note of the lead being over three teams all tied at exactly .500. That means the Phillies only need to be passed by two of those teams to miss the playoffs entirely. They also only trail the Marlins by one game for the No. 5 seed, at present, so the range of outcomes here is pretty wide considering there is only one week to play.
The Phillies have played their last home game of the season. They head to D.C. to take the Nationals on in a four-game series from Monday-Wednesday with a doubleheader on Tuesday, before playing three in Tampa Bay against the Rays.