Bryce Harper gets rematch with Hunter Strickland

Brian Tinsman
June 10, 2018 - 8:24 pm
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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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Sunday was the rematch we've waited more than a year for.

The last time Hunter Strickland stared down Bryce Harper at the plate, he ended up getting punched in the face, after beaning the Washington Nationals slugger on the hip.

Harper first pointed his bat, charged the mound, whipped his helmet into shallow right field, and then started a pretty fantastic baseball brawl.

The pitch inside was preceded by Harper taking Strickland deep twice in the 2014 NLDS Playoffs. Clearly, Strickland has a long memory.

So, on Sunday, it was fair to be excited when Harper led off the ninth inning with Strickland on the mound. After all, what would the latest chapter in this rivalry look like?

Nationals fans booed Strickland as he jogged in from the bullpen, but he got the last laugh.

Harper grounded weakly to second base and sprinted down the line to first base. He was out, but forced the Giants defenders to make a play.

Officially, this was only Harper's first regular-season at-bat vs. Strickland, as he scored on him in 2015 (no at-bat registered) and was famously hit by the pitch in 2017.

Strickland further made quick work of the Nats and earned a save, as the Giants defeated Max Scherzer on a day when the slinger had nine strikeouts over seven strong innings.

Maybe Harper-Strickland IV will be more satisfying for Nats fans.

 

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