Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

Washington ended up losing both games and the series, while the Giants marched to their third championship in five years.

The Nationals were leading the Giants 2-0 at the time of the hit-by-pitch.

Manager Dusty Baker doesn't believe for a second the pitch was an accident and second baseman Daniel Murphy wasn't happy. "But we're not here to take any stuff either".

The Nationals have little history with brawls. The benches cleared, and it was ugly. "So you had two guys who probably don't care for each other much".

"You see red", he said.

Harper will nearly certainly get suspended. He tossed his bat away, then approached the mound and appeared ready to fire his batting helmet at the pitcher.

"I was just trying to go after him, with the helmet or just myself", Harper said.

"I don't want to go on a baseball field and try to fight somebody". "I've never seen that before in my life". "You can't hesitate. You either go to first base or you go after him".

"I think I was screaming", Murphy admitted later.

The Giants were not surprised when Harper reacted the way he did. "It's just you have to protect yourself and stand your own ground". Most Nationals said they didn't expect the explosion at all.

Jayson Werth was one of the first players to get to Harper in the middle of the fray. "History is history, some people hold it longer than others". But he did note that his early arrival probably wasn't a coincidence. "I think if the Giants thought it was that egregious, Bryce would've gotten one the next season". "So I may or may not have been ready for the whole thing".

Harper's moonshot in the 2014 NLDS was fresh in everyone's minds during Monday's happenings. Neither was catcher Matt Wieters, who was obviously not with the team in 2014, but did make an interesting point about 2017. That point only becomes further amplified when you take into consideration that Strickland's blunder of a pitch was the first to leave his hand.

"It looks bad, it does", he said. "It's what's insane about our game when somebody takes a shot at you". Morse said. "I was trying to get in there to break everyone up". A batter faced the pitcher and attempted to do his job: not get out. "It's part of the game, but I don't know what it is".

Baker even defended Harper's response. Especially when it's somebody that it's in the past. He should be thinking about wearing that ring home every single night. "You can't hesitate. You either go to first base, of you go after him and I made a decision to go after him".

"When somebody comes at you like that and throws a 98 miles per hour fastball where he did, I wasn't very happy with it and took it into my hands", he said. But any talk of respect ended there, transforming instead into talk of relevance.

Strickland said he didn't think Harper would come at him. "Baseball is a game where you can hold a grudge for a long time".

"I wasn't really going up there thinking that, but after he did it, I was like, 'That was definitely intentional'". In the 2014 National League Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. Like I said, it was three years ago, over a thousand days I guess. "Well, couldn't get him out, so the only way he could do it".

"You can't assume what other people are thinking or what other people are going to do", he said.

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