Giants, Nationals fans don't see eye-to-eye on baseball brawl

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's a game that won't be forgotten anytime soon. A bench-clearing brawl between the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park Monday afternoon had everyone talking.

RELATED: Punches thrown during Giants, Nationals game in San Francisco

Fans say it involves a beef dating back more than two years ago.

Giants reliever Hunter Strickland threw a 98-mph fastball that ended up hitting the hip of Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

Harper then charged the mound and the two exchanged punches as the benches cleared. It was no surprise -- Giants fans ABC7 News spoke with were quick to blame the other team.

"It was right there inside by the knees," said Giants fan Michael Morla, gesturing toward his knees. "So I think it was an overreaction by Bryce Harper."

As expected, Strickland denied hitting Harper intentionally. "I've left the ball over the plate a couple times to him and he's taken advantage of that," he said. "So mostly go inside, and obviously I got it in a little too far."

But it's the first time the two have faced off since the 2014 NLDS. That's when Harper hit two monster home runs off Strickland.

Nationals fans say it was obvious Monday's incident was in direct response to the past.

"I think it's ridiculous to charge the mound but I also think it's ridiculous to hold a grudge from a playoff series two years ago that you won," said Nationals fan Peter Bloom.

Regardless of who's to blame, fans were disheartened that a nice day at the ballpark ended the way it did.

"Memorial Day is like one of those days in baseball's, America's pastime, where it seems pretty sacred and it was quite the opposite from that," said Giants fan Bennett Roth-Newell.

"It's just scary I think for a kid to see that," fan Christine Federowski told ABC7 News. "When these people you look up to are fighting on the field."

Click here for more stories about the San Francisco Giants.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.