Buster Posey explains why he stood back in Bryce Harper brawl

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Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 2.90 ERA) and Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija (1-6, 4.50 ERA) will get the start one day after Washington slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland traded punches on the mound following an eighth-inning plunking.

Major League Baseball is likely to suspend both Harper and Strickland and perhaps more as benches cleared, but just how long will the two be out of action?

Hunter Strickland threw a 98-mile-per-hour fastball right at the hip of Washington star Bryce Harper, who proceeded to immediately walk toward the pitcher's mound and point at Strickland.

Harper pointed at Strickland, charged the mound, and threw his helmet. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied. It was far enough inside to leave no doubt, and Giants catcher Buster Posey standing still rather than slowing Harper said everything you need to know about how the pitch was perceived by Strickland's own teammates.

Harper and Strickland were both ejected after their incident and both will nearly certainly serve suspensions, but Harper is not necessarily at fault.

"It's not even relevant anymore", Harper said of his Game 1 and 4 home runs off Strickland in 2014. Harper watched the second shot sail down the line, in Game 4, and glared at the reliever as he rounded the bases.

Harper later explained that he certainly didn't want to get suspended-as both he and Strickland were-but "sometimes you've just got to go and get him. The bad thing is, [Harper] will probably get a couple games out of it, when he actually saved other guys from being thrown out by doing that", Wieters said. You either go to first base or go after him.

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Giants vs. Nationals descended into a DOGPILE Monday night. "It's part of the game".

Ryan Zimmerman had a home run among three hits, and Daniel Murphy drove in a pair of runs with a double and a single, helping the Nationals open a nine-game western swing with their sixth victory in eight games.

As former manager Dusty Baker said, "It was a long time ago but in baseball, you carry grudges for a long time".

The Nationals went on to win the game 3-0.

RAYS 10, RANGERS 8 Tim Beckman hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh as visiting Tampa Bay scored five runs in a span of three pitches to beat Texas. Monday was the first time Strickland faced Harper since that NLDS. "I don't know why he did it or what he did it for, but I guess it happens". It's smart, but I think something else was at play here today. "It's what's insane about our game when somebody takes a shot at you". I don't think he should even be thinking about what happened in the first round. You have two guys who don't care for each other too much.

Moore (2-6) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. It was the first time he had hit an opposing batter with a pitch this season. "It's tough to lose when you get a quality start like we did".

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