(CBS) Cubs manager Joe Maddon on Tuesday downplayed any contentiousness with right-hander Jason Hammel, who was upset Saturday with Maddon pulling him in the third inning and after just 39 pitches in an eventual loss to the Dodgers, continuing a trend dating back to last season in which Maddon has had a quick hook with Hammel.
“There’s nothing personal, believe me,” Maddon said on the Spiegel and Goff Show on 670. “Hammer and I go way back to our days with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays actually. We’ve had some really good conversations. It is overblown a bit. He and I just had another great conversation yesterday. Everything is fine. I have to make decisions daily based on what I’m seeing out there. I told him the other day, part of the ability to take him out of the game that early was the fact that Rob (Zastryzny) was available on that particular day. Had Rob Z not been available, I couldn’t have done it. And furthermore, it’s just not a good lineup (to face) for Jason on that day. I could just see the game going south. I didn’t want to bring relief pitchers in that day if the game didn’t have any point to it.READ MORE: Woman Critical, 1 of 6 People Wounded In Lawndale Mass Shooting
“Last year happened in the middle of August versus the Giants. It just happened the other day, whereas other times I left him in the game several times, and he’s given up nine, 10 runs three times this year. So it’s just a moment, and you have to have the available pieces in order to make that move at that point, and they were available in Los Angeles.”
Hammel is 13-7 with a 3.21 ERA this season. Before Saturday’s outing in which he allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings, he allowed 10 runs — six earned — in 3 1/3 innings in a loss at Colorado on Aug. 21.READ MORE: Young Woman, 18, Dies After Being Shot In West Elsdon
That was one of two times this season that Hammel has allowed 10 runs in a game.
After Saturday’s abbreviated outing, Hammel expressed his displeasure.
“I didn’t even pitch today,” Hammel told reporters. “I barely threw even 40 pitches, so it’s a side day today … Two balls hit hard. Other than that, I feel like their hits found holes.”MORE NEWS: Chicago Fire Paramedic's Cap Grazed At Stroger Hospital; Man Killed In Shooting Nearby
Listen to Maddon’s full interview below.