Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has some history with San Francisco Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. It all stems from the 2014 National League Division Series, when Harper went 2-for-2, with two massive home runs against Strickland.
In his first opportunity at retribution, Strickland decided to exact some revenge. With the Nationals up 2-0 in the top of the eighth inning during Monday’s game, Harper stepped in to face Strickland for their third meeting. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Strickland drilled Harper in the hip with a fastball.
Harper didn’t take too kindly to being hit. He pointed his bat at Strickland, exchanged words with the reliever and then went absolutely nuts.
Harper charged the mound with his helmet in his right hand. He then attempted to throw the helmet at Strickland, but misfired. The helmet skidded to Strickland’s far left.
— Mike Gianella (@MikeGianella) May 29, 2017
At that point, punches started flying. Harper gets Strickland’s open hand to the face at first, but manages to land a solid jab directly to Strickland’s jaw later in the skirmish.
Benches hit the field and separated the two. There was some collateral damage.
Bryce Harper goes after Hunter Strickland after an HBP and then Mike Morse and Jeff Samardzija are collateral damage. pic.twitter.com/jton90huP5
— Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) May 29, 2017
Harper was quickly grabbed by veteran first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He was taken off the field and presumably to the dugout by Zimmerman.
Strickland was still furious. It took between three and four Giants players to restrain the reliever. Outfielder Hunter Pence was among that group. They eventually got Strickland into the dugout.
The Nats went on to win the game 3-0. Both Harper and Strickland were ejected for their actions.
Strickland and Harper have both been ejected from the game.
Strickland – 1st career ejection
Harper – 9th career ejection
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 29, 2017
This probably isn’t the only game they’ll miss. Given what occurred here, it wouldn’t be shocking to see both players get suspended for a number of games. Strickland for the purpose pitch, and Harper for throwing his helmet. Both will also miss time for throwing punches.
Major League Baseball will likely review the video to determine the length of those suspensions, and decide whether any other players deserve punishment.
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