Harper, Strickland trade punches in bench-clearing brawl during Giants, Nationals game
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An enraged Bryce Harper charged the mound, fired his helmet and traded punches to the head with San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland after getting hit by a fastball, setting off a wild brawl Monday during the Washington Nationals’ 3-0 win over the Giants.
Drilled in the right hip by a 98 mph heater on Strickland’s first pitch in the eighth inning with two outs, none on and Washington ahead 2-0, Harper didn’t hesitate. The slugger pointed his bat at Strickland, yelled at him and took off.
Bryce Harper & Hunter Strickland engaged in some Memorial Day Fireworks. pic.twitter.com/XQ01hxETwM
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) May 29, 2017
No one got in Harper’s way as he rushed the mound. His eyes were wide as he flung his helmet — it sailed wide of Strickland, it might’ve slipped — and they started swinging away. The 6-foot-4 Strickland hit Harper in the face, then they broke apart for a moment before squaring off again. Harper punched Strickland in the head as the benches and bullpen emptied.
Harper and Strickland were both ejected. They have some history between them — in the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland, and the All-Star outfielder glared at the reliever as he rounded the bases.