Wainwright vs. Hamels doesn't disappoint


Cole Hamels nearly gave the Phillies’ bullpen a night off Tuesday, out-dueling Adam Wainwright while taking a shutout into the ninth inning of a 1-0 game. Back-to-back doubles tied the game, at which point Charlie Manuel brought in Brad Lidge to get out of the jam … and he actually did. Lidge got three outs with the go-ahead run in scoring position and Carlos Ruiz eventually won the game with a walk-off homer in extras.
Hamels and Wainwright both got stuck with no-decisions despite excellent outings, with Wainwright dropping his ERA below 2.00 and Hamels getting his under 5.00. Obviously a 4.48 mark still isn’t pretty for Hamels, but a 44/12 K/BB ratio in 39 innings is promising.
As for Lidge, he didn’t get the call to save a 1-0 game because Hamels was seemingly in control, but with Ryan Madson expected to miss two months following toe surgery it’s only a matter of time.

Ryan Zimmerman’s spring training has been . . . weird

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.

While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.

Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.

I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.

On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.