The Giants played the Nationals on Monday, and I thought it was shaping up to be a disappointing, but rather pedestrian loss. The only thing I had right was the loss. Well, that and the disappointment.
Matt Moore pitched a good game. In seven innings, he held the Nats to just two runs–one was a home run–six hits, zero walks and he struck out five. He kept the game within the Giants reach. All we had to do was come up with some timely hits.
I was pretty enthused when the game began. Christian Arroyo–the Kid–snagged a fly ball in foul territory that no one expected him to catch. And it came at a good time—right after the Nats hit a home run in the second inning. The Kid had a great hit in the third inning–putting the skids on that ugly slump–when he hit a base hit to left. The ball hit the bag at third just right, bouncing into the outfield and giving the Kid a stand-up double.
Brandon Crawford hit a fly ball sharply to left in the bottom of the second that looked like it could mean extra bases. But the Nats left fielder snatched it out of the sky at the top of the fence for an out instead. Very annoying.
I thought this game was turning into another snooze fest until we got to the eighth inning and that’s when all the excitement started. Hunter Strickland was on the mound for the Giants, facing the top of the Nats order. He quickly sent the first two hitters back to the dugout.
Then it was Bryce Harper‘s turn at the plate. Apparently Harper hit a couple of home runs off Strickland in the 2014 NLDS. The working theory is Strickland was looking for payback. He says not. But he plunked the first pitch to Harper off Harper’s hip. And the fight was on. The benches cleared and the big right-hander took on Harper without hesitation. In an after-game interview, Strickland said when he saw Harper coming after him, it was “go time.”
Punches were thrown. Jeff Samardzija and Michael Morse–in an attempt to intervene–collided with each other. Buster Posey stayed back because of the danger according to Bleacher Report. Everyone else joined in and it took several Giants to carry Strickland off the field. He was hot. And not the kind of hot we need right now.
Strickland and Harper got tossed. A pinch runner replaced Harper and the pinch runner scored a run when George Kontos–who stepped in to pitch for Strickland–gave up a couple of hits.
The final score was: Giants 0, Nationals 3
It was exciting, but it was scary. There were some big boys in that mix. I’ll take pedestrian any day.