Fireworks came early when the Nationals-Giants ballgame turned into a wild boxing match on Monday.
The gloves came off and benches cleared after San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland pegged 2015 N.L. MVP Bryce Harper with a fastball in the eighth inning.
To put it mildly, Harper did not take that too kindly as he charged the mound and launched his helmet in the direction of Strickland, missing wide. Punches for both parties, however, connected. Each side got in a nice right hook, leading to a massive scrum near the mound.
Strickland drilled Harper and then they traded punches: pic.twitter.com/dQLq9YDz3j— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 29, 2017
It took about five Giants players and coaches to separate Strickland from the brawl, and even in the dugout he remained emotional. For Harper, it resulted in his ninth career ejection.
The two competitors do have some history. Three years ago, Harper hit two home runs off of Strickland, admiring both for a long time.
This is just Game 1 of the series, so the bad blood may be just beginning.