Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Harper, Strickland suspended for brawl

Nats-Giants-Brawl-053017-USNews-Getty-FTR Jeff Samardzija,Bryce Harper and Michael Morse all collide
Bessie Robbins | 31 May, 2017, 01:56

The benches cleared after Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper got into it with Giant's pitcher Hunter Strickland. That's exactly what happened in the game yesterday. With many people off of work because of the national holiday, most ballparks were packed with passionate fans enjoying their day off.

Overall, we see that Bryce Harper was the bigger story here just because he's an Major League Baseball superstar, and because he initiated the actual fight.

Roark (5-2) ran his career record to 6-0 against the Giants by scattering six hits and a walk. Harper hit two home runs off Strickland during a 2014 NLDS matchup between the teams. Harper was seen barking at Strickland during his home-run trots back then, probably because Strickland stared at him all the way around. "And then they'll break it up and continue to play the game".

One of the most striking moments, for me, was the sight of Ryan Zimmerman pulling Harper off the field and into the clubhouse long before Strickland could be subdued by several of his teammates. We go out there and try to win a ballgame.

Arrieta has no problem with two players settling their grudge that way.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said of the fight "We're not here to brawl". But we're not here to take any stuff either. "We don't take nothing".

It's a story as old as electronic scoreboards - the guy who either decides to play the villain or has villainy thrust upon him, and decides to iron-jaw his way through the reaction.

Bochy said he didn't know what to expect in terms of discipline.

Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland were punished for their role in Monday's brawl. He's had a number of concussions, and he's a player much too valuable to lose in a season quickly going down the drain.

Well, apparently, the Giants reliever still hasn't gotten over his last time he saw the Nationals star, because on Monday, the right-hander plunked the MVP candidate with a fastball the first chance he had since their postseason encounters nearly three years ago.

The bad blood between the Harper and Strickland goes back almost three years, when Harper homered twice of Strickland in 2014 National League Division Series between the teams. He put his teammates at risk of injury, ejection, suspension or even fines, in the case of Hunter Pence, who was trying to get Strickland off the field and will now be fined for his trouble. Ventura hit Machado around the hip as well, so anything is possible with these suspensions.

Both players have appealed their punishments and will play in Tuesday night's game, the second of the three-game series. Neither player received a record-breaking or excessive suspension, so the league is not looking to get tough on brawls just yet.

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