MLB notes: Nationals' Bryce Harper doesn't care what fans think

Washington Nationals batter Bryce Harper bats in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves during...

Washington Nationals batter Bryce Harper bats in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves during their MLB National League baseball game in Washington August 6, 2013. (REUTERS)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:08 PM ET

"Screw" it.

That's what Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper thinks of fans' opinions.

The 20-year-old was asked after he inexplicably elected to bunt with two on and no outs during Sunday night's win over the New York Mets, a decision that paid off in the end.

"I could care less what people think," Harper told CSN Washington when asked about his critics. "Screw what people think. Everybody talks about us all year long saying we're not going to make this or do that.

"I could care less what they think. It's all what we think. I could really care less what the media thinks or anybody else. It's nice to get that W tonight and like I said, I could care less what people think."

Call it small ball, or whatever you will, Harper had one thing on his mind as the Nats attempt to close the widening National League wild card gap.

"Runner on first and second right there, you've got to get him over," Harper said. "Just sac bunt. I didn't really care. Having those guys move to second and third was huge and started a big inning right there."

His manager, Davey Johnson, admitted after the game Harper acted on his own.

"As tough times as we've had with hitting with runners in scoring position, putting the tying run down there ain't a bad idea," Johnson said.

As it turns out, Harper doesn't care about what anyone thinks -- and sometimes it all works out.

WANDY AVOIDS KNIFE

Good news for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez will not need surgery after seeing Dr. James Andrews, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Still, the 34-year-old continues to feel discomfort while throwing.

"It's a different pain," Rodriguez told the Post-Gazette. "It feels like it's in the bone."

Rodriguez threw a bullpen session Sunday and said he hopes to be activated, possibly as a reliever, within a month after spending close to three months on the disabled list.

"We need to weigh how I feel with their (thoughts)," he said. "It's still the same pain, so maybe I'll go to the bullpen. I don't know. They'll make a decision.

"It's a hard situation for me. It's the first time I've been on the DL like that, for three months. Never in my career. I've missed like 15 days, but no more. I see how my team's playing right now, it's very hard."

Rodriguez has been out since June 5. Prior to that, he was 6-4 with a 3.59 ERA through 12 starts.

MASTERSON EXITS

The Tribe could be in trouble if an apparent injury to pitcher Justin Masterson turns out to be serious.

The Cleveland Indians, who are attempting to catch the Tampa Bay Rays for the final wild card spot in the American League, could be without Masterson down the stretch.

The 28-year-old exited Monday's game against the visiting Baltimore Orioles in the second inning due to rib cage soreness.

Masterson is in the midst of a career year with the Indians. The 2013 all-star is 14-9 with a 3.49 ERA and 188 strikeouts, the most in his six-year big league career.

BRIEFLY: The Cincinnati Reds announced they called up outfielder Billy Hamilton and infielder Neftali Soto from triple-A on Monday "¦ Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers will miss 3-6 months following "exploratory" shoulder surgery, according to CSN Chicago "¦ Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told XM 89 radio host Jim Bowden he expects manager Eric Wedge to return next season "¦ The New York Mets signed righty Aaron Harang to a minor-league deal. Harang is 110-115 through 12 major league seasons "¦ St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina exited Monday's game with a sore wrist "¦ Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig left Monday's game with an apparent lower-body injury after sliding into first base on a pickoff throw.


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