Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels has been suspended five games for hitting… (David Goldman / Associated…)
If Cole Hamels was an everyday player, the five-game suspension the Philadelphia Phillies pitcher received for intentionally hitting Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper with a pitch might be considered significant.
For pitchers, however, five games is next to nothing -- one start at best. And in Hamels' case this week, the suspension actually does amount to nothing as he really won't miss a turn in the rotation.
He began serving the suspension Monday night, the day after the incident occurred. Cliff Lee is expected to return to the mound from the disabled list Wednesday and the Phillies have an off day Thursday, which frees Roy Halladay to start on regular rest Saturday and allows Hamels to return for Sunday's game against the San Diego Padres.
Hamels said he plunked the Nationals' emerging star in the first inning of Sunday's game on purpose simply because that's the way the game was played in the old days.
"It's just, 'Welcome to the big leagues,'" said Hamels, who was, in turn, hit in the leg with a first-pitch fastball by Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann two innings later. No punishment has been announced for Zimmermann.
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