Hunter Strickland has long been established as the biggest baby, as he once threw a retaliatory pitch for a nearly 3-year-old dinger. It doesn’t take much to get under the Giants closer’s skin, besides exposing him as kind of a mortal pitcher in front of large crowds.
Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson, one of the worst hitters on one of the league’s worst teams, was able to do this with multiple hits off Strickland. The Giants have allowed quite a few of those to Brinson and the Marlins in the past week, raising his batting average nearly 20 points in five games since June 11 (to .183—he’s really scattered his 44 hits across 70 games).
Brinson’s first big hit was a game-tying rip against Madison Bumgarner last week in a 7-5 Marlins win, something that typically warrants celebration. The Giants weren’t happy about this, so on Monday night Strickland threw the first pitch to Brinson in the ninth inning right in the vicinity of his chin. Brinson tied the game again when he laced a single off Strickland and flipped his bat on his way to first.
Strickland hated this and eventually exited the game after blowing his fourth save of the season. Instead of heading straight for the dugout, the reliever made sure to walk close enough to third base, where Brinson was standing at the time, to exchange some words about ... decency?
No one really knows, and Strickland wouldn’t get into it after the 5-4 loss, only insisting that he was definitely Not Mad.
The Marlins and Giants have two games left in the series—tonight and Wednesday—so keep an eye on the beef in case it gets overcooked.