Three-year-old grudge fuels brawl between Harper, Strickland

On October 3, 2014, during Game 1 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants, Bryce Harper stepped in in against Hunter Strickland.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland's 98 miles per hour fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

In Game 4, Harper again took Strickland deep and took his time rounding the bases while yelling at Strickland. Bryce Harper took clear exception to the pitch, immediately charged towards Strickland, and miserably failed at an attempt to hit him with his helmet.

Both players landed punches to the head of the other before teammates from the benches and bullpen engulfed and separated them.

When the Nationals visited AT&T Park for the first time after the 2014 postseason series, Bryce Harper took to Instagram to compliment the city. Strickland is still caught up in the past (a past in which he became a World Series champion I might add), so if he can't even take the good that comes with the greatest achievement in the game, then my guess is that he's insufferable to be around when the team is losing like they have been this season.

Harper was dumbfounded to say the least and he wasn't expecting it.

"I can see how (2014) stays in people's minds", he said.

With two games to go in this series, it'll be interesting to see if and when the Nationals respond to Strickland's beanball.

"That's throw it at a spot where you can't really get out of the way and move".

After the fight on Monday, Strickland essentially said those incidents were in his head while pitching to Harper.

As for Strickland, he told ESPN reporters that the wild throw was not on objective despite Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitting that the throw "looked bad".

There's history between Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland, of course, though only two at bat's worth and a couple of stares and words before today.

"I don't want to go into a baseball game trying to fight somebody, especially when it's in the past, so in the past it's not even relevant anymore, " Harper said. Harper attributed a scratch to Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon pulling him away from the brawl.

"I left the ball over the plate a couple of times to him", he said. Strickland was asked what he thought when he saw Harper charging at him with helmet in hand and he replied, "It's go time, I mean you've got to protect yourself and stand your own ground". 'I don't know why he's thinking about it. "Obviously, I got in a little too far". He should be thinking about wearing the ring home every single night. "So you had two guys who probably don't care for each other much". That's not surprising given his role as one of the Giants' enforcers. Strickland wasn't ready to leave the fracas, and it took a lot of his teammates to pull him away.

Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run in the second inning and Daniel Murphy hit an RBI double off the bricks in the sixth.

Moore (2-6) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.

  • Julie Sanders