Gonzalez gets 1st win since April as Nats beat Giants 6-3

Gonzalez gets 1st win since April as Nats beat Giants 6-3

Gonzalez gets 1st win since April as Nats beat Giants 6-3

This was not the case on Memorial Day, with a full benches-clearing brawl breaking out during the Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants game involving one of the MLB's elite players, Bryce Harper.

That may be a point major league baseball officials take into consideration as they assesses penalties for the incident, which will nearly certainly include suspensions.

That's what stuck with Harper, who expressed disbelief again before Tuesday night's game.

Terry Francona didn't fully examine Monday's brawl between the Nationals and Giants, in which Bryce Harper charged pitcher Hunter Strickland, sparking a brief bit of frustration-fueled chaos and a few haymakers. Harper first faced Strickland leading off the seventh inning of Game 1 at Nationals Park, with the Nats already down 3-0.

Strickland, from Thomaston, Ga., immediately claimed the ball was just a pitch that got away from him but nobody in the majors is buying that.

Harper flung his helmet and they began throwing punches, with the 6-foot-4 Strickland clocking Harper in the face. Disputes like the one in which Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland involved their teammates and coaches Monday afternoon are not easily left behind.

But perhaps the best justification for Harper's actions is that it resulted in Strickland getting the suspension he deserved. There was no call for such nonsense in a close game - or any time, really.

"If two guys want to go see each other, let them be in the middle, let them throw some punches, then break it up. Like I said, most teams I've had we don't start anything, but we don't take nothing".

"I think it's more unsafe than people realize", Francona said. We had to just go out there and play the game.

You can't just get rid of a talented arm like that, but I think it's time for the San Francisco Giants to consider parting ways with Hunter Strickland for the good of the team. If Strickland did that to incite him, he probably didn't anticipate the encounter would turn physical.

"Get hit and it's like insult to injury - then you get your [behind] beat?"

The Nationals were literally expected to "dust" somebody from the Giants last night. But Harper's crimes against Strickland - two monstrous postseason homers, and we'll get to the specifics shortly - came three seasons ago.

For as long as there has been baseball played on these shores, there has been one subset of players, generally veteran ones, that has taken it upon itself to teach another subset of players, generally younger ones, how to - say it with me now - "play the game the right way". "Harper gets hit and you look at a guy who's given up some home runs, and he'll tell you that he was trying to come in".

He'd have to trudge through 30-pitch second as well, beginning with a Michael Taylor single and rare Buster Posey error that advanced him into scoring position, made worse by a two-strike RBI single by the pitcher.

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