After Hunter Strickland drilled Bryce Harper with a 98 miles per hour fastball - and after Harper charged the mound and exchanged swings with Strickland - the pitcher told reporters that he was just trying to pitch inside and didn't hit Harper on goal.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. The protocol seems to be "Let them handle their business while taking stock of who's involved and who's escalating the situation" and then go from there. Three Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the pack all the way into the dugout, while a teammate held back Harper. Strickland was so infuriated he needed to be restrained by teammates and physically carried off the field as he was taken away to the Giants clubhouse. The Nationals rode their pitching to a 3-0 win at San Francisco Monday for win number six of eight.
"You can't blame Bryce for what he did, " said Zimmerman, on his 13th year with the team. 'It looks bad, it does, ' he said.
Baseball fights are usually more sizzle than steak, but this one will give us enough to chew on for quite awhile, as Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland came to blows on national television. Apparently, time hasn't healed their wounds because in a relatively close game, Strickland chose to plunk the 2015 National League MVP. As ForTheWin.com noted, Louisville's women's basketball coach Jeff Walz recently said, "Right now, the generation of kids that are coming through, everybody gets a damn trophy, okay?"
Almost three years ago, in the NLDS, Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland met for the first time.
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"I don't think it's my place to go against the rules".
"It's so in the past, it's not even relevant anymore", he said of their 2014 series, according to Dan Kolko of MASN. As for Bryce Harper, he is likely gone for a lot longer, depending on how Manfred views Harper's attempt at using his helmet as a weapon-we won't ask for the moment why Strickland won't be punished as harshly for using the baseball as a weapon, one with more energy and precision. Strickland is a big boy and he made a decision to handle things himself, and he shouldn't need Posey to protect him.
If you pay close attention to that second home run and Harper's trot around the bases, the Nationals star appears to direct a little bit of side-eye toward the pitcher, and maybe even a word or two. 'He didn't come up and in toward my face like some guys do, so I respect him on that level.' Strickland said he missed his spot. "But I think anytime you're dealing with a position player's wrist, a hitter's wrist, that's always cause for concern".
Both benches stormed the mound and a massive brawl broke out before the 6-foot-4, 220 lb right-hand relief pitcher had to be manhandled by his Giants teammates so he wouldn't try to go back. "I don't know why he did it or what he did it for". With the club struggling already this season, this could mean that Strickland finds himself wearing a different uniform if the Giants decide to go with a younger group and start selling off pieces in hopes of replenishing their farm system. Was he still thinking about those 2014 home runs?
Moore pitched brilliantly for most of the game, but allowed a solo home run and an RBI double.