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Odubel Herrera willing to take a fastball to the ribs to keep flipping his bat

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 05: Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies gestures after hitting an RBI double in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals during a game at Citizens Bank Park on May 5, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals defeated the Phillies 4-2. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

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Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera hit a bases-clearing double in the seventh inning of Saturday’s win against the Giants, flipping his bat in the process. He did so against reliever Hunter Strickland, the man who memorably drilled Bryce Harper, catalyzing a benches-clearing brawl that resulted in his being suspended six games.

Herrera was pulled aside by veteran teammate Andres Blanco, who pointed out the man Herrera may have offended. Herrera said, via CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, “I’m sure that some pitchers may find it offensive, but I’m not trying to offend anyone. That’s just the way I am and that’s the way I’m going to play.”

Herrera understands that he may, at some point, rub someone the wrong way and he may have to take a fastball in the ribs. The outfielder said, “Of course, it worries me a little bit. I don’t want to get drilled. But I’m not going to change the way I play. If I get hit, I’m just going to have to rub it.”

Through the end of May, Herrera was batting an uncharacteristic .218/.262/.326, so he hadn’t had many opportunities to meaningfully flip his bat. But along with Saturday’s double, Herrera also homered and doubled twice on Sunday, so he may finally be getting out of his rut.

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