Washington D.C., MD, United States (4E Sports) – Washington Nationals star outfielder Bryce Harper was benched by manager Matt Williams in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals for lack of hustle.
Harper hit a weak grounder toward pitcher Lance Lynn in the sixth inning then did not run hard down to first base before veering to the dugout.
He has been nursing a tight quad in recent days but Williams noted the benching had nothing to do with his injury.
“This team made an agreement that when we play the game, that we hustle at all times, that we play the game with intensity and the willingness to win,” said Williams.
The 21-year-old slugger is hitting .295/.348/.426 with one home run on the season after going 0-for-3 on Saturday.
Kevin Frandsen replaced him at left field.
Harper was off to a strong start in 2014 before Saturday’s game, batting .310 with five RBI and a home run.
Following Saturday’s loss to St. Louis, Washington is now just 3-6 in its last nine games after a 7-2 start.