The three-game College World Series final is tied up.
University of Virginia sophomore Brandon Waddell allowed just two runs — one earned — across nine innings and the Cavaliers got 3-for-5 nights from both Joe McCarthy and Kenny Towns in a 7-2 Game 2 win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday night in Omaha, Nebraska. It was the first career complete game for Waddell, a 20-year-old lefty from Houston, Texas.
Vanderbilt starter Tyler Beede was pitching well until the top of the sixth inning, when Virginia poured on three runs on three singles and a triple by center fielder Brandon Downes. Beede, drafted 14th overall by the Giants in this year’s June MLB Amateur Draft, wound up surrendering six total earned runs on 10 hits and three walks. He threw 117 pitches.
Vanderbilt took Game 1 on Monday night, so this College World Series final will come down to a decisive Game 3 on Wednesday. Vandy is seeking its first-ever NCAA national championship in a men’s sport.
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.