Bryce Harper, Hunter Strickland trade punches in Washington Nationals' 3-0 win

"There's some big guys tumbling around on the ground", said Posey, after the eighth-inning brawl enlivened the Giants' 3-0 loss to the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park on Monday.

The pitch connected, Harper was immediately displeased, and after motioning with his bat broke into a full sprint towards the Giants fireballer, pausing only briefly to take off his helmet and crow-hop to get a few extra miles an hour on the protective device he clearly meant to hurl back at the aggressor. Then came an exchange of artlessly missed punches, an open-handed slap to Harper's face and a fist that mostly mashed the bill of Strickland's hat. Giants teammates Michael Morse and Jeff Samardzija collided hard as they tried to get between the two fighters.

Now they have something else in common: charge-the-mound moments.

It was the first time that Strickland faced Harper since the Nationals star twice took him deep in a 2014 playoff series that the Giants won in four games. As expected, Strickland denied hitting Harper intentionally.

The two players have a history of acrimony, dating back to the 2014 NL Division Series, when Harper hit two monster home runs off Strickland.

Monday's shenanigans just show that Strickland is more of a liability to this team than he is a piece to build around. It's part of the game.' Giants manager Bruce Bochy framed it for everyone.

Harper charging the mound looked bad, but he's not entirely at fault.

And Posey clearly didn't want to get involved Monday in the bench-clearing brawl between the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals. You have two guys who don't care for each other too much. You can't hesitate (after getting hit). Strickland struggled to get free the entire time.

Madison Bumgarner, bummedWhile his teammates jumped over the dugout railing to join the fracas, Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner wisely stayed put.

"Yeah, I can see how that kind of stands in peoples' minds", Strickland said. The slugger pointed his bat at Strickland, yelled at him and took off. I don't know. In that situation, you see red.

Not only would this be the right thing to do, but it may also serve to defuse the potential for any sort of retaliation, because the message to the Nationals would be: We completely understand why you are upset; this is on Strickland, and we don't agree, either. "Those are some big guys tumbling around on the'll be a little unsafe to get in there sometimes", he said. "I don't know why he's still thinking about it". Washington took advantage of the gift base runner as Ryan Zimmerman, who had already homered in the second inning, singled to extend the inning and Daniel Murphy's base hit to right-center scored pinch runner Brian Goodwin to make it 3-0 which was the final score.

  • Julie Sanders