Harper pulled for not hustling, Nats fall to Cards

Harper pulled for not hustling, Nats fall to Cards

File Photo: Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper, right,, reacts after grounding out as first base coach Trent Jewett (44) looks in during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at a baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington, on Thursday, June 7, 2012. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nationals star Bryce Harper has been pulled early from a game after Washington manager Matt Williams said the young outfielder didn’t hustle.

Harper was taken out after six innings in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The 21-year-old Harper is a two-time All-Star known for his aggressive play.

But in the sixth inning, he hit the ball to the mound, jogged to first and took a right turn to the dugout before getting halfway down the basepath.

Asked why Harper was removed, Williams said: “Lack of hustle. That’s why he came out of the game.”

“He and I made an agreement, this team made an agreement, that when we play the game, that we hustle at all times,” the first-year manager said.

Harper said he understood the decision.

“I respect what he did,” Harper said. “That’s part of the game.”
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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