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More milestones for Harper

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More milestones for Harper

PHILADELPHIA -- If it seems like Bryce Harper is accomplishing something every couple of days few, if any, teenagers have ever accomplished ... well, it's true.

Just about every positive thing Harper has done on the field in the last couple of weeks has carried the 19-year-old over a new threshold, further cemented his status as one of the best players in his age group ever to perform in the major leagues.

And Harper was up to his old tricks again last night during the Nationals' 8-4 win over the Phillies. Let's recap...

With his first-inning blast into the stands in deep left-center, Harper recorded his 20th home run. The only teenager ever to hit more, of course, was Tony Conigliaro for the 1964 Red Sox.

Asked about getting No. 20, Harper responded: "I like those 93 runs a lot better."

Ah, yes. By crossing the plate on his home run trot, Harper recorded his 93rd run of the season. The only teenager ever to score more runs: Buddy Lewis of the 1936 Senators, who finished with 100.

So, would reaching the century mark in runs scored mean something for Harper?

"Absolutely," he said. "Being on base for all the guys to drive me in, just being key in that respect and getting the momentum going early, doing things on the basepaths, I think that's huge."

Harper obviously takes a lot of pride in his baserunning, so surely he was fired up to notch his 17th stolen base last night. That makes him the first teenager ever in the 17-17 Club (17 homers, 17 steals). Three more stolen bases over the season's final seven games, and Harper obviously would become the first-ever teenager in the 20-20 club.

Pretty amazing stuff, right?

"No, nothing really amazes me with him," teammate Ian Desmond said. "Regardless of all the home runs, the great throws, things like that, he impacts the baseball game every single day, whether it's on the basepaths, everything. Nothing surprises me with him. I think he's got the brightest future, and he's a good kid. That makes it so much better."

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Even after two-plus years, Hunter Strickland couldn't forget last meeting with Bryce Harper

Even after two-plus years, Hunter Strickland couldn't forget last meeting with Bryce Harper

965 days. That's the amount of time that separated the second time Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland faced each other on an MLB diamond and the third one.

In that second matchup, which came back in Game 4 of the 2014 NLDS, Harper launched a game-tying home run in the seventh inning off of Strickland. Harper also hit a blast off Strickland in Game 1 of the same series.

Well, apparently, the Giants reliever still hasn't gotten over his last time he saw the Nationals star, because on Monday, the right-hander plunked the MVP candidate with a fastball the first chance he had since their postseason encounters almost three years ago.

Ironically enough, after San Francisco beat Washington in the NLDS, Strickland told the SF Chronicle how he would have to "have a short memory" on the mound for the rest of the playoffs and keep his composure after the home runs. Judging by this video, however, it's clear that Strickland's had some issues moving on:

RELATED: MORE ON THE HARPER VS. STRICKLAND BRAWL

When you look back at that Game 4 meeting, you'll see Harper pause at home plate and watch his moonshot after sending it into the McCovey Cove, then glare at Strickland a few times as he rounds the bases. Some will call what No. 34 did a violation of baseball's unwritten rules, but it was a huge moment on a huge stage, which contributed to Harper's emotional reaction.

The fact of the matter is that plenty of pitchers have moved on from much more egregious things in much shorter time frames, but for whatever reason, Strickland just wasn't able to.

Afterward, Harper explained why he thinks the hit by pitch should've never happened.

But Ryan Zimmerman had the best quote of all when talking about the sequence:

The veteran is right on with that statement. Harper was better than Strickland back in 2014, so Strickland felt the need to tag Harper first before Harper had a chance to tag him again on Monday. Essentially, the pitcher followed the, "If you can't beat him, bean him" strategy.

965 days is a long time to get over a grudge. For Hunter Strickland, though, 965 days still wasn't enough.

MORE: 10 INSANE BALLPARK FOODS YOU CAN EAT IN 2017

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Bryce Harper charges mound, throws punches after Hunter Strickland hits him with pitch

Bryce Harper charges mound, throws punches after Hunter Strickland hits him with pitch

In their two previous meetings, Bryce Harper took Hunter Strickland deep. Very deep, in fact.

So in their third encounter, Strickland made sure that Harper wouldn't have the chance to do it again. 

RELATED: HERE'S THE HISTORY BETWEEN BRYCE HARPER AND HUNTER STRICKLAND

In the top of the eighth inning of Monday's Nationals-Giants game, the San Francisco reliever went after Washington's best player on the first pitch and hit him in the thigh with a 98 MPH fastball.

Harper — without hesitation — responded by charging the mound and throwing his helmet at Strickland, and the two then squared off and exchanged punches.

Here is the wild video of the whole sequence:

Harper and Strickland were, of course, ejected after initiating one of the best MLB fights in recent memory. This was the pair's first time facing each other since Harper's two home runs in the 2014 NLDS, meaning Strickland's had a long time to get over No. 34's blasts but simply couldn't do it.

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