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.
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.