Here's another baseball event to be filed under the category of extremely rare.
Opposing pitchers Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants and Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies homered off each other on Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. And to make it just a touch crazier, both were solo home runs that occurred in the same (third) inning.
For a little perspective on how rare this event was, it's the first time pitchers homered off each other in the same game since Atlanta's Kevin Millwood and Colorado's Denny Stark did so back on May 18, 2002. Yes, that one took place at Coors Field during the first season of the humidor.
To find the last time it happened in the same inning, you have to go all the way back to May 14, 1990. On that day, Montreal's Kevin Gross and Los Angeles' Fernando Valenzuela connected for third inning solo shots, much the same way Cain and Hamels did on Saturday.
Cain himself is certainly no stranger to hitting the long ball. His blast leading off the top half of the inning was his first home run of the season, and the sixth of his eight-year career. That's not the case for Hamels, however, as his rebuttal with one out in the bottom half was the first in his seven seasons.
''It was nice,'' Hamels said. ''I enjoyed it more after giving up my first ever homer to a pitcher.''
It's no surprise Hamels was more eager to talk about his hitting, as he would end up allowing a total of three homers and five runs in 7 2/3 innings. But Cain's afternoon wasn't any more satisfying. In fact, it was nearly identical as he also allowed three homers and five runs, only he managed to complete the eighth inning.
His focus after the game, though, was also Hamels' home run.
''I figured he'd try to put one out,'' Cain said. ''The most frustrating thing you can do is give up a homer to a pitcher.''
I don't know, Jonathan Papelbon might be able to identify something just a little more frustrating than that. With all of those baseballs flying out of the park on Saturday, it was Papelbon who allowed the game-deciding run and ultimately took the loss in Philadelphia's 6-5 defeat.
The hit that did him in? An RBI drag bunt single by Gregor Blanco.
Of course it was.
- Sports & Recreation
- Cole Hamels
- Matt Cain
- San Francisco Giants
- Kevin Millwood
- Citizens Bank Park