Bryce Harper

Harper's postgame reaction to nearly being hit twice before benches cleared

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SAN FRANCISCO — The benches and bullpens cleared in the top of the fourth inning at Oracle Park during Wednesday's finale after Giants left-hander Kyle Harrison came up-and-in to Bryce Harper on consecutive pitches, nearly hitting him both times.

Harper barked at Harrison after the first high-inside 94 mph heater. He appeared to yell, "What are you doing, man?"

On the very next pitch, Harrison threw even higher and more inside at 93 mph and hit the knob of Harper's bat, brushing him back and knocking off his helmet.

Harper and Alec Bohm had words with Giants catcher Curt Casali as the dugouts, bullpens and clubhouses emptied. Harper stayed out of the mix as some pushing and shoving took place around the infield. Giants hitting coach and former Phillie Pat Burrell appeared to be in the middle of it.

Both benches were warned. There were no ejections, and Harper himself looked like he calmed down during the delay. After the game, Casali told reporters that he appreciated Harper cooling off and reacting the way he did as players crowded the infield.

When play resumed, the Giants challenged the rule on the field (hit by pitch) and it was overturned after clearly showing it hit Harper's bat.

"I think our guys were just a little bit upset that he came up-and-in a couple of times on Harp," manager Rob Thomson said. "And it looked worse than it was because the helmet flipped off and that's when it broke. It looked like from our vantage point that he got hit there, so I think everybody kinda got bent out of shape a little bit. But everyone kinda calmed down."

You can understand Harper's reaction as he was hit in the face in 2021 by Genesis Cabrera and had his thumb broken the next year in San Diego when he was hit by Blake Snell.

The at-bat ended in a groundout with the Phillies leading by two runs at the time.

The Phillies did not think Harrison had any intent behind the pitches.

"He didn't mean to," Harper said. "Just don't want to get hit in the face. You get hit in the face, man, it's not fun. That's about it."

There was no bickering between the sides after that at-bat. The Phillies went on to win the game, 6-1.

"Emotions run high anytime you get a fastball up by your head," Nick Castellanos said. "It's a scary thing. He had one up-and-in, he had some words, another one went up-and-in, and everything just kinda happened. It's not a logical time for thinking. Sh*t's coming fast, it's up by your head, it's scary."

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