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The San Francisco Giants have a Hunter Strickland Problem

Before the second of three with the Giants in San Francisco's AT&T Park, Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker and Nats' slugger Bryce Harper downplayed the possibility there would be retaliation for Hunter Strickland's 98 miles per hour objective pitch during the eighth inning of Monday's series opener.

Both players were ejected from the game. Strickland got the bigger punishment for "intentionally hitting Harper with a pitch", according to the Major League Baseball press release, and "inciting the bench-clearing incident and fighting".

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced Strickland received a six-game suspension, while Harper was hit with a four-game suspension.

Strickland threw at Harper in retaliation for two home runs that the Washington slugger hit off him in the 2014 playoffs.

Harper launched two mammoth long-distance homers off Strickland in the 2014 postseason and Monday's at-bat marked the first time they faced one another since those blasts.

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When Strickland didn't back down, Harper flung his helmet at him - missing badly - and charged the mound.

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Hunter Strickland and Bryce Harper learned their fate following Monday afternoon's brawl. It was the first time he had hit an opposing batter with a pitch this season. Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy described it as "completely uncalled for", while radio host and former Nats general manager Jim Bowden called Strickland a "thug" who should be forced to sit out "15 or 20 games".

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"I don't want to go into a baseball game trying to fight somebody, especially when it's in the past, so in the past it's not even relevant anymore, " Harper said. The team should not miss a beat without Harper since they have played so well as a team these first two months.

The Giants lost in their third-straight game, as they fell to the visiting Nationals 6-3. "I didn't put any limitations on this team", Hinch said. "I thought it was awesome".

"As I was going out there, the first initial reaction is you might get blindsided by one of their players coming in", he said.

Giants teammates Michael Morse and Jeff Samardzija collided hard as they tried to get between the two fighters. If it happens, I'll let you know.

The fight lasted less than one minute. Heck, I'm surprised there wasn't even more damage.

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"He's great for a cool quote...that's hilarious to me, " Clippard said.

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