The punishments are in for Monday's brawl between the Nationals and Giants. Bryce Harper will serve a four-game suspension, while Giants reliever Hunter Strickland will sit out six. Both players will appeal their bans.
The incident began in the eighth inning of Washington's 3-0 win over San Francisco when Strickland hit Harper with a fastball clocked at 98 miles per hour. According to Strickland, the contact was unintentional. According to seemingly everyone else, it was the continuation of a rather one-sided beef from Harper and Strickland's only two previous meetings, in which Harper launched two home runs off of Strickland and may or may not have preened after one of them. Harper charged the mound, chucked his helmet several feet wide of the mound—a move that I maintain had some strategy to it—and a flurry of awkward haymakers ensued.
Now we're here, with Strickland again coming out on the bad end of a dealing with Bryce Harper. Sometimes, the long game doesn't pay off after all.