Little has gone right for the San Francisco Giants this season, and in their Memorial Day matchup with the Washington Nationals, reliever Hunter Strickland sought retribution against Bryce Harper… Three years later.
Monday’s meeting was their first since Harper hit two home runs off Strickland in the 2014 National League Division Series. With two outs in the eighth inning and Nationals leading, 2-0, Strickland fired a 98 mph fastball into Harper’s hip.
The 2015 NL MVP immediately took umbrage with the pitch and charged the mound. Harper attempted to throw his helmet, though to no avail.
His right hook had better success, and so too did a right-handed punch from Strickland. Both benches emptied onto the field, with a dog pile forming in front of the mound.
Curiously, Giants catcher Buster Posey did not attempt to dissuade Harper from rushing the mound, nor did he take quick action once the skirmish began. Traditionally, a catcher serves as a protector of sorts for his pitcher.
Posey later said he felt getting involved was a “little dangerous” considering the bodies on the floor and constant shoving. An example he provided was Michael Morse, listed at 6’5″ and 245 lbs., getting thrown around with some ease.
In a strange, if not comedic twist, Morse was knocked down by teammate Jeff Samardzija when the two collided at full speed.
The Giants suffered a 3-0 loss and fell to 11 games back of first place in the NL West. The Los Angeles Dodgers trail the Colorado Rockies by one-half game.