Source: MLB reduces Harper ban to 3 games

Major League Baseball has reduced the suspension for Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper by one game, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Harper, who originally received a four-game ban for his role in a fight with with Giants reliever Hunter Strickland, will start serving his three-game suspension as the Nationals face the Giants on Wednesday night, the source said.

If Bryce Harper didn’t charge, would Hunter Strickland still be suspended?

It’s likely that no one would have noticed the idiocy of the Giants’ reliever if it hadn’t been for the zealous reaction by the Nationals’ star.

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  • Harper, who is tied for the National League lead with 15 home runs and has a .322 average and 41 RBIs, will be eligible to return Sunday as the Nationals finish off a series at Oakland.

    Fox Sports was to first to report that Harper’s suspension had been reduced.

    Strickland received a six-game ban for throwing a fastball at Harper during Monday’s game, which led to a bench-clearing brawl between the teams. He also filed an appeal.

    Strickland hit Harper in the hip with a pitch in the eighth inning and the Washington slugger charged the mound, firing his helmet wildly before trading punches to the head with Strickland during the Nationals’ 3-0 win.

    MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre’s explanation of the disciplinary decisions said Strickland intentionally hit “Harper with a pitch, inciting the bench-clearing incident and fighting” while Harper’s suspension came “for charging the mound, throwing his helmet and fighting.”

    Each player also was fined an undisclosed amount.

    According to ESPN Stats Information, this will be Harper’s second suspension. His first was in May 2016, for confronting umpire Brian Knight.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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