Nationals' Harper, Giants' Strickland suspended for roles in brawl

Kim Klement  Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

"To go inside", Strickland said of his intentions.

As Harper charged after Strickland, following a fastball to the hip, Posey merely stared at Harper - a fellow MVP victor and teammate on several NL All-Star teams - and allowed him an unimpeded path to the relief pitcher for a helmet throw (that went laughably awry) and several wild roundhouses. Per the official Major League Baseball release, they ruled that Strickland threw at Harper intentionally, resulting in his harsher punishment. The guy who was rightly angry about being targeted with a projectile, but wrongly channeled that anger into charging the mound, gets four full games?

Posey addressed his hesitance to join the fight after the game.

"There were some big guys tumbling around out there", he said. "So, it's a little risky to get in there sometimes". I can't believe that Buster is that naïve to think something wasn't going to happen when Harper and Strickland started jawing at each other.

Harper says he didn't like being hit, but respected Strickland for not throwing at his face.

Bryce Harper goes after Hunter Strickland after an HBP and then Mike Morse and Jeff Samardzija are collateral damage. The more disturbing part of the ugly scene may be how it took four of Strickland's teammates to force him off of the field and carry him into the clubhouse after the fight was broken up.

"I'm OK, but why is that news?"

"It doesn't happen as much as it used to, which I think is a good thing, but it's going to be there".

Harper gets a big raise to about $21.7 million next year, while Strickland will head into arbitration to try to get a raise from the Giants.

Harper learned earlier in the day that he was suspended by Major League Baseball for four games for charging the mound and participating in a brawl during the eighth inning of the Monday win. Harper attributed a scratch to Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon pulling him away from the brawl.

That's a pretty basic admission from Strickland: I'd rather hit Harper than get homered on again.

Just so. What indeed was Harper supposed to do after being clearly intentionally drilled?

"It just wasn't relevant".

Harper said the reason he is appealing is a simple one. So I wasn't really thinking about it at all. Or flash your World Series ring at him.

Angry, Harper did at least appreciate there was no head-hunting.

Posey declined to elaborate beyond his postgame comments Monday, when he said he didn't try to break up the fight because "there's some big guys tumbling around on the ground" and "it'd be a little unsafe to get in there sometimes".

“I know Buster has our back, ” Strickland said. "I definitely don't knock him for it". My partner and I took down names until things slowed down. "I don't look at it any further than that".

"He made a decision to come out, that's what he chose to do". Sorry, Hunter. You're on your own. Any brawls like this will come with consequences.

Whether you agree with this culture of baseball or not, it is their culture.

After the game, Nationals Manager Dusty Baker commented on the incident, according to The Washington Post. Gonzalez is 4-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 11 career starts against the Giants and has struggled with Aaron Hill (8-for-21). It was the first time he had hit an opposing batter with a pitch this season.

"What's a man supposed to do? He's not a punching bag". After three years, to do that, I don't know what was going through his mind or how upset he was the last couple years. "I mean baseball is a game where you don't forget and you can hold grudges for a long, long time". The Giants are hopeful he'll be able to return after the seven days are up.

"They're a classy team", Bochy said. I know the kid hit him on objective because I'd umpired him before, and his strike-ball ratio was about 3.5-1. I was the field umpire.

"You can't blame Bryce for what he did, " said Zimmerman, on his 13th year with the team.

Gonzalez (4-1) allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and three walks to win for the first time since April 27. Koda Glover pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his sixth save. He is the first Giant to play all three outfield positions in a game since Randy Winn in 2009.