Here’s something pretty cool.
Matt Cain launched a solo home run off opposing pitcher Cole Hamels in the top of the third inning this afternoon in Philadelphia. Not to be outdone, Hamels connected for a solo shot of his own off Cain in the bottom of the inning. No word on whether Hamels was whistling “Anything You Can Do” during his home run trot, but it can’t be ruled out.
Cain and Hamels are the first pitchers to homer off each other in the same game since Kevin Millwood and Denny Stark on May 18, 2002. Per ESPN’s Jayson Stark, they are the first pitchers to homer off each other in the same inning since Kevin Gross and Fernando Valenzuela did it on May 14, 1990.
There’s a chance Cain and Hamels could have more in common soon, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Phillies and Hamels are “moving in the right direction” in negotiations on a long-term contract extension. Cain’s $127.5 million commitment with the Giants is considered a starting point on negotiations for Hamels.
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.