Cole Hamels mysteriously lost control of his fastball in the first inning against the Washington Nationals on Sunday night, plunking phenom Bryce Harper square in the back with two outs. Harper promptly went first-to-third on a ball hit to left field by Jayson Werth and then stuck it right back at Hamels by stealing home on Cole's nonchalant pickoff attempt at first base.
You have to love that hustle if you're a Nats fan. Not so much if you're from Philadelphia.
Hamels got the last laugh on this night, however, as his offense backed up his eight stellar innings of work, leading the Phillies to a 9-3 victory.
After the game, Hamels actually admitted to throwing at Harper as a "welcome to the big leagues" type move.
All quotes courtesy of CSN's Reuben Frank, who was down in DC:
"I'm not going to lie. I was trying to hit him," Hamels said.
“I’m not going to injure a guy, and they’re probably not going to like
me for it, but I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t trying to do it. I
think they understood the message, and they threw it right back, and I
think that’s the way, and I respect it."
And on Jordan Zimmermann throwing back at Hamels in the third inning:
“Oh yeah, that’s baseball. I’m kind of happy that’s the way it works,
because that’s the way it should. And I don’t think the umpires should
interfere with it. Let baseball be baseball. I grew up playing the game
hard and watching it, and that’s the way it was, and I’d hate for them
to change it, which has kind of happened in recent years. Just let it
play out and then we get back to playing, and that’s just the way it
Cole Hamels is a man.
Great base running by Harper, obviously. Goes from 1st to 3rd on a single to left. Takes advantage of Hamels' move to first and steals home.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) May 7, 2012
Why are they still talking about the Nats sending a message? Didn't Harper just send one to Hamels by stealing home?
— 'Duk(@KevinKaduk) May 7, 2012
Buy beer. RT @MLB: BRYCE HARPER JUST STOLE HOME. What can't this kid do?
— Mike Meech (@meechone) May 7, 2012