There’s nothing like a good basebrawl, and we got one in Monday’s game between the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals. Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland threw a fastball that drilled Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper right in the hip. Harper and Strickland started jawing right after this happened, and a split second later, it was on.
The brawl started with Harper busting out one of the worst helmet throws we’ve ever seen. Either he wasn’t trying to hit Strickland, the helmet slipped out of his hand, or Harper is just not especially great at using a baseball helmet at a weapon.
There were also some hands thrown by Harper and Strickland. The Giants’ pitcher landed the first good shot, as he connected with an open hand strike that nailed Harper right in the face. After some fairly uncoordinated hand throwing, Harper eventually connected with a right fist. It didn’t connect cleanly – his fist more turned over and Harper made contact with the palm of his hand than anything – but it was still a pretty decent shot.
Unsurprisingly, both benches cleared, and Harper and Strickland got tossed. As for what sparked this, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports believes this stems from a dinger that Harper hit back in Game 4 of the 2014 NLDS off of Strickland. It was a shot by Harper, who stood there for a few seconds and watched it fly.
Also, shout out to Buster Posey for not trying to de-escalate things. While it’s common practice for the catcher to step in before the opposing player storms the mound, Posey apparently wanted to watch a good fight.