Cole Hamels suspended five games for intentionally hitting Bryce Harper

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Cole Hamels admitting that he intentionally plunked Bryce Harper yesterday has earned the Phillies left-hander a five-game suspension from MLB, along with an undisclosed fine.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo should be happy, as he called for Hamels to be suspended along with calling Hamels a whole bunch of names, including “classless” and “gutless” and “chickens**t” and “fake tough.”

In reality though it just means Hamels’ next start will likely be delayed by one day and because the Phillies are off Thursday they could simply pitch Roy Halladay on regular rest Saturday and not even have to use a spot starter.

Obviously pitchers intentionally throw at batters all the time, but the five-game suspension means it might be a while before another pitcher actually admits it.

UPDATE: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Hamels will not appeal the suspension, so he’ll be eligible to start Sunday.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.