- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
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 2013 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Activists encourage Obama to circumvent Congress, use more executive authority
- Obama: Nelson Mandela now 'belongs to the ages'
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- Increase in battlefield deaths linked to new rules of engagement in Afghanistan
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
White House pets gone wild!