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Why is Bryce Harper not in Phillies lineup Saturday vs. the Nationals?

The Phillies will be without Bryce Harper for Saturday’s NL East showdown at the Nationals

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals - Game One Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper will miss this afternoon’s matchup at the Washington Nationals with a blister on his left hand. Phillies interim Rob Thomson relayed that the blister flared up and got infected overnight, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. The decision was then made to sit the reigning National League MVP out of today’s ballgame.

Harper had already made an impact at the plate against his former team for the series. Through three games this series, he had gone 5-9 with four runs, two RBI, and a stolen base. The veteran has been putting together a case for a third MVP award this season, batting .326 at the plate through 60 games with 15 home runs, 48 RBI, and 48 runs.

It is unknown if he’ll get the blister treated enough in time to take the field for Sunday’s series finale at 12:05 p.m. ET. Philly will next hit the road to Texas for a brief two-game series next week before traveling to San Diego for a four-game set.