Cole Hamels likely just cost himself some money in the way of a fine, but the new contract he continues to pitch his way into will more than cover the expense. After holding the Nationals to one run with eight strikeouts in eight innings of work on Sunday night, Hamels didn't beat around the bush when asked what he was trying to do with a first-inning pitch that hit 19-year-old super prospect Bryce Harper in the back.
"I was trying to hit him," Hamels said. "I mean, I'm not going to deny it. It's something that I grew up watching. I'm just trying to continue old baseball, because I think some people get away from it. I remember when I was a rookie, the strike zone was really, really small and you didn't say anything, because that's the way baseball is. But I think unfortunately sometimes the league is protecting certain players and making it not as that kind of old school, prestigious way of baseball."
Hamels channeled his inner Bob Gibson when explaining his mind-set.
"It's just welcome to the big leagues," said Hamels, "and I think he kind of did that to me."