- Putin tells Merkel that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war
- San Antonio mayor to Obama: Give amnesty to illegals with legal families
- NYPD disbands unit that spied on Muslims to go after ‘real bad guys’
- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
Nationals notes: Bryce Harper’s hand no problem against Braves
VIERA, Fla. — A day after manager Davey Johnson scratched him from the lineup with swelling in his left hand, Bryce Harper went 3 for 3 with two singles and a double to raise his spring batting average to .431.
Whatever issue he had with his hand, the result of getting jammed on a single to right field Friday, didn’t appear to hinder him.
“I squared up three balls, so that felt pretty good,” Harper said following the Nationals‘ 9-3 victory over the Braves that was halted by wind and rain after seven innings. “I’m just waiting to get jammed up again and feel it, but I’ve been squaring up balls since it happened, so maybe that’ll work.”
Harper tried out a rubber guard that slips over his thumb and nestles into the space between his thumb and index finger during batting practice, but opted not to use it in the game because of his lack of comfort swinging with it on. He will continue to use it during batting practice.
“I can’t wear it,” he said. “I’ll wear it during BP and in the on-deck circle, but going to the plate, I don’t like the feeling, so I’m not going to use it.”
Several players use the small piece to help protect them from getting jammed, but Harper said from the outset that he was unsure if he’d stick with it. He was, however, entirely unconcerned about the swelling becoming a significant issue.
Harper has dealt with something similar before. When he was in Single-A Hagerstown in 2011, Harper developed severe swelling in his thumb over the course of a week. He tried using a guard then, too, but stopped after about a week.
“Hagerstown was way worse,” he said before Sunday’s game. “It’s all good. I’ll be fine.
“If it does hurt, I’m still going to play anyway, so it’s all good.”
Zimmermann sharp in penultimate tuneup
Building off his last start, in which he retired the final 18 batters he faced after a single opened the game, Jordan Zimmermann turned in another strong start Sunday.
Zimmermann opened the game against the Braves with three hitless innings, facing the minimum thanks to two double plays that cleared out walks, and stretched his streak from the previous game to 27 outs between hits (a full game’s worth) before Andrelton Simmons singled to open the fourth inning.
“It means I’m close,” Zimmermann said of the feat. “Obviously it feels good to get outs, and to get 27 in a row, that means I’m doing something right. I feel good. I’m ready to go. I feel strong and I can’t wait for the season.”
Zimmermann went six innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks. He struck out four on a day when the winds were gusting at close to 30 mph and threw 85 pitches. He is scheduled to start for the Nationals on Friday in Washington against the New York Yankees in their final exhibition game of the spring.
Around the horn
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Al Qaeda mocks U.S. in 'extraordinary' Yemen gathering; experts fear CIA caught flat-footed
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Bill Clinton falls off vegan diet wagon but not vegan label
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes