"We know he hyperextended it when he slipped going across the bag". The 33-year-old's ERA improved to 3.30 in five starts since joining the team.
It was easy to assume that Harper was gone for the season, and it was just as easy to start worry about when he would be back in 2018.
Manager Dusty Baker said after the game that everybody had the same reaction.
During Baker's two years between jobs, Giants manager Bruce Bochy passed him on the all-time managerial victories list.
It didn't begin until 10:06 p.m. after another extended weather delay, and it was raining when Harper lost his footing on a base that had water on it.
Edwin Jackson of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park on August 12, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Harper's injury came when he tripped on first base and fell to the ground in obvious pain.
The San Francisco Giants are hoping to escape the National League West basement which is attainable. The All-Star has been sidelined since leaving his July 23 start at Arizona after two innings.
Harper's loss will be felt by a team that is on pace to win 97 games yet will enter October as nobody's favorite because of the historic dominance that has happened at Dodger Stadium this season.
Washington is a head-turning 14.5 games ahead of the Miami Marlins in the National League East and appears comfortably on its way to the postseason.
One of the leaders in the NL MVP race, Harper was hitting.326 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI this season.
Should Strickland and Harper face off this weekend, it's unlikely that any fireworks would take place.