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Matt Cain and Cole Hamels homer off each other in the same inning (Video)

Any home run hit by a pitcher is a rare accomplishment. We see maybe a handful or so each season, and oftentimes it looks like complete luck. What happened on Saturday with Cole Hamels and Matt Cain was rarer than rare. Both the Giants and Phillies starting pitchers hit home runs — in the same inning.

The last time two pitchers hit homers off each other in the same inning was in 1990 when Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers and Kevin Gross of the Expos did it. You’ll hardly ever see two starting pitchers hit home runs in the same game in general, let alone off on another in the same frame. Maybe the National League can hold off on the designated hitter after all.

Cole Hamels reportedly voted for Bryce Harper for All-Star Game

Remember when Cole Hamels intentionally beaned Bryce Harper last month? And how he got suspended for five games for it? And how he got mercilessly ripped by ornery old baseball types like Jim Leyland and Mike Rizzo?

Well, now, over a month-and-a-half and one clown question later, Hamels has apparently extended somewhat of an olive branch to Harper.

According to Phillies beat reporter Todd Zolecki, Hamels gave Harper some help on getting named to the All-Star Game next month:

Based on the fan vote, Harper isn’t even among the top 15 vote-getters among NL outfielders, so he’s going to need a lot more than Hamels’ vote if the master deflector of clown questions hopes to play at the midsummer classic.

H/T SB Nation
Photo: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Jim Leyland says Cole Hamels’ five-game suspension is ‘way too light’

You want old school? Look no further than Jim Leyland. If anyone knows a thing or two about old school, it’s the Tigers 67-year-old manager. When Cole Hamels intentionally hit Bryce Harper with a fastball over the weekend and admitted to it after the game, he said he did it because he was an old school pitcher. The MLB then suspended him five games for the act, and Leyland thinks the punishment should have been harsher.

“I don’t know the man,” Leyland said of Hamels according to MLB.com. “I know he’s a very good pitcher, a very talented guy, but when you come out and admit (hitting Harper intentionally) like that — that ball could have missed, hit him in the head or something else like that — and you come out and admit that, I think five games is way too light, in my personal opinion. And I would expect that if that was my pitcher, if my pitcher went out and, almost in a braggadocious way, talked about hitting a guy and that, ‘I did it on purpose.’

“I felt the way I read it, and I don’t know if the kid meant it this way, but it was almost like a braggadocious thing. That’s not enough. There’s no way.”

I’m with Jim. If Hamels truly was old school — and I don’t think hitting a 19-year-old on purpose to welcome him to the league qualifies him — he wouldn’t have felt the need to brag about it after the game. It’s one thing to hit a guy on purpose, but it’s another to do it and make sure everyone knows about it. I certainly don’t like Harper, but the way Hamels handled himself was uncalled for. Harper deserves credit for keeping quiet about it and taking it in stride.

H/T Hardball Talk
Photo credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Rizzo calls Cole Hamels ‘gutless’ and ‘fake tough’ for hitting Bryce Harper

When Cole Hamels hit Bryce Harper with a 93-mph fastball on Sunday night, the rookie jogged down to first and later stole home. To Harper’s credit, that was a great way to respond to a maneuver that Hamels later admitted was completely intentional. It may not have bothered Harper all that much, but it certainly got under the skin of Nationals GM Mike Rizzo. Here is what Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Monday morning:

“Players take care of themselves. I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken s*** act in my 30 years in baseball. Cole Hamels says he’s old school? He’s the polar opposite of old school. He’s fake tough. He thinks he’s going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year-old rookie who’s eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.

“He thinks he’s sending a message to us of being a tough guy. He’s sending the polar opposite message. He says he’s being honest; well, I’m being honest. It was a gutless chicken s*** (expletive) act. That was a fake-tough act. No one has ever accused Cole Hamels of being old school.

“This goes beyond rivalry and all that stuff. This points to, you take the youngest guy in baseball. He’s never done a thing. And then Hamels patted himself on the back. Harper’s old school. Hitting him on the back, that ain’t old school. That’s (expletive) chicken s***.”

Rizzo also said that he hopes the league does something about it, especially given the bounty scandal that is currently going on in the NFL. While hitting a player in the small of their back isn’t exactly targeting an opponent’s ACL, I see his point. Intentionally doing something that you know could harm someone has to lead to some sort of punishment. I smell a rivalry brewing.

H/T Hardball Talk

Cole Hamels admits he hit Bryce Harper on purpose

Since being called up from the minors a little over a week ago, Bryce Harper has proven to the Nationals that he deserves to stay — at least for now. Harper has come up with clutch hits and made a few tremendous plays in the field, and he’s part of the reason Washington continues to win. Perhaps the problem for opponents has been that the 19-year-old is too comfortable. Cole Hamels tried to change that in the first inning on Sunday by drilling Harper in the back with a 93-mph fastball.

“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels admitted after his dominating performance. “I’m not going to deny it. I’m not trying to injure the guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it, but I’m not going to say I wasn’t trying to do it. I think they understood the message, and they threw it right back. That’s the way, and I respect it. They can say whatever they want.”

Hamels, who pitched eight innings and allowed just one run while striking out eight, said he did not intend to send a message to Harper nor was he trying to fire up his team. He also praised Harper’s athletic ability and potential.

“If I was getting swagger back for our side, I think I’d have to drill quite a few people because you’re in their home ballpark,” Hamels said. “It’s just, ‘Welcome to the big leagues.’ And I think he kind of did that for me.”

Some may even say the kid got even immediately. After being hit, Harper took advantage by showcasing his speed on the base paths. He went from first to third on a Jayson Werth single and then stole home on a Hamels pick-off attempt to first base. We know Harper is kind of a tool since he does things like this, but there’s no denying he’s an electric young talent.

Photo credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Cole Hamels’ mother signed him to a $1, lifetime contract with the Padres when he was an infant

Padres fans are accustomed to being robbed of their best players. The teams lack of financial stability results in superstars like Adrian Gonzalez leaving town as soon as they reach the primes of their career and are ready for their monster contract. Not having enough money to sign players is painful enough, let alone having other superstars who don’t honor their contracts with the team. That is what has happened with Cole Hamels and the Padres.

If Hamels was a man of his word, he would be a Padre for life at a very affordable price. As Gaslamp Ball pointed out, Hamels was signed to a $1, lifetime deal with the Padres when he was one month old in 1983. At the time, his mother worked for the Padres and was friends with then-GM Andy Strasberg. She thought it would be fun to show Cole the contract when he was a kid and that it would provide motivation for him. Apparently it worked.

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Cole Hamels Pitched Despite Poison Oak

Cole Hamels made two starts last month despite pitching with poison oak on his legs. True story.

Hamels told FOX MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal that he contracted poison oak while fishing on teammate Roy Oswalt’s property in Missouri during the team’s June 20th off-day.

What was pitching with poison oak on both legs like?

“It felt like razor blades on the back of my legs every time I’d take a step,” Hamels said.

Ouch.

The Phillies lost in both starts despite Hamels pitching well. He gave up two runs over eight innings in a 4-1 loss to the A’s on June 25th and he departed after four scoreless innings five days later against the Red Sox. Hamels had to leave that start early after getting hit on the hand by a line drive.

In a star-studded rotation featuring Cy Young winners Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, Hamels has stood out this season. He’s gone 10-4 with a 2.40 ERA and a league-leading 0.95 WHIP. It’s the type of season Hamels needed to re-establish himself as an ace, and the type of courage he needed to show to prove his toughness to his teammates.

And now Hamels joins these two pitchers as guys who have pitched through tough maladies this season.