Giants reliever Hunter Strickland received a six-game suspension Tuesday and Washington’s Bryce Harper was penalized four games for their roles in a benches-clearing brawl at AT&T Park a day earlier.
Each also was fined an undisclosed amount. Major League Baseball said both players planned to appeal, so they were eligible to play in Tuesday night’s game between the clubs. Baseball Senior Vice-President Joe Garagiola Jr. typically hears player appeals.
“You can’t really worry about what MLB is going to do because you don’t really know,” Harper said. “Whatever they say goes and I’m just going to worry about the four games I got and see what I can do.”
Strickland hit Harper in the hip with a pitch in the eighth inning and the Washington slugger charged the mound, wildly firing his helmet before trading punches to the head with Strickland during the Nationals’ 3-0 win Monday at San Francisco.
MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre’s explanation of the disciplinary decisions said Strickland intentionally hit “Harper with a pitch, inciting the bench-clearing incident and fighting” while Harper’s suspension came “for charging the mound, throwing his helmet and fighting.”
‘I’m obviously not thrilled about it’
“I’m obviously not thrilled about it,” Strickland said. “It’s their call. We’ll go from there. Whatever they ultimately decide, I’ll own it and take the responsibility.”
The bad blood stems from a pair of home runs Harper hit off Strickland in the 2014 playoffs, when the Giants went on to capture their third World Series championship in five years.
“It’s just crazy that it even happened yesterday after three years to do that,” Harper said. “I don’t know. I don’t know what was going through his mind or how upset he was the past couple of years. If he did have a problem, he could have talked to me about it.”
Washington led 2-0 with two outs in the eighth inning and none on when Strickland drilled Harper on the first pitch — a 98 mph fastball….