It was a fight that had us realizing that throwing a batter’s helmet at an intended target might not be as easy as it seems.
Two years ago, with the Giants hosting the Washington Nationals, pitcher Hunter Strickland threw at six-time All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper, hitting him. A fight ensued which created a brawl on the mound with many involved. It was an ending to an already bitter history, but it turns out -- Harper ultimately respected being beaned and what happened afterward.
During a recent wide-ranging interview with Barstool Sports’ Starting 9 podcast, Harper detailed not only the confrontation but what led up to it.
"It was definitely was where I was like, ‘OK, well three years goes down the road like c'mon, man. You got a World Series ring with it,' " Harper told Jared Carrabis and Dallas Braden. "But for him to come back, I respect him for the pure fact of him hitting me in the butt. Because he could've came up and in and hit me in the head or anything like that. He just wanted to fight … I enjoy that, and after that, it was squashed, it was done."
The squashing comes off of history from the 2014 NLDS matchup between the two teams where Harper hit two home runs off Strickland.
Pitchers never forget, but at the moment, Harper was surprised it had come down to that during the Giants’ 3-0 loss.
"Especially since it's been three years and [the Giants] won the World Series that year,” Harper said in an interview with ESPN following the game. “So I wasn't really thinking about it at all. But when somebody comes at you like that, throws a 90 mph fastball where he did, I wasn't very happy with it and took it into my hands and tried to go after him."
Both would be suspended. Harper for four games, Strickland, received a six-game suspension. Both would appeal.
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There was a full-circle moment that occurred last year when Strickland would become a member of the Nationals at the trade deadline. And even with Harper’s absence as he went to the Philadelphia Phillies, the question was on everyone’s mind.
Strickland, who was with the Giants from 2014-18, said it was all in the past. It appeared Harper mirrored those sentiments.