Major League Baseball suspended Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for four games for charging the mound after being hit by a pitch in Monday's game against the San Francisco Giants. He was also issued an undisclosed fine.
Harper was at-bat in the eighth inning when he was drilled in the hip with a 98 mile per hour fastball by Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. Strickland received a six-game suspension and an undisclosed fine.
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) May 30, 2017
Harper then charged the mound and threw his helmet at Strickland inciting a benches–clearing brawl. Harper and Strickland were ejected from the game, which the NL East–leading Nationals went on to win 3-0.
This is the second time Harper has been suspended in his major league career.
Last season, Harper was suspended for one game after he yelled at a home plate umpire from the dugout after a teammate struck out during a May game against the Detroit Tigers. After Washington won the game in walk-off fashion, Harper returned to the field to celebrate with his teammates and to curse out the umpire.
The bad blood between the Harper and Strickland goes back nearly three years, when Harper homered twice of Strickland in 2014 National League Division Series between the teams. The Giants won that series three games to one and went on to win their third World Series in six seasons.
Harper says he didn't like being hit, but respected Strickland for not throwing at his face.
"One thing I've got to say about Strickland is he hit me in the right spot, so I do respect him for that," Harper said. "He didn't come up and in toward my face like some guys do, so I respect him on that level."
Harper leads the National League in home runs and runs scored. He is hitting .337 with 41 RBI this season and leads all NL players in All-Star voting after the first update.
After this three–game series, the teams don't meet against until Aug. 11 in Washington.