Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels has been suspended five games for intentionally throwing at Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper.
"I was trying to hit him," Hamels said after Sunday's game, during which he hit Harper in the back with a pitch in the first inning. "I'm not going to deny it."
Major League Baseball announced the penalty Monday. Hamels also was fined an undisclosed amount.
Hamels added, "It's just, 'Welcome to the big leagues.' "
Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann hit Hamels in the leg with a first-pitch fastball two innings later. After the game Zimmermann said he didn’t intentionally hit the Phillies pitcher.
Hamels called his and Zimmermann’s pitches "old-school" baseball.
"I think they understood the message and they threw it right back," he said.
No suspension has been announced for Zimmerman.