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#pounditTuesday, October 19, 2021

Jason Hammel held closed door meeting with Joe Maddon over early hook

Jason Hammel

As successful as the Chicago Cubs have been, not everything is perfect in their clubhouse.

Starting pitcher Jason Hammel was not happy at being removed very early in Saturday’s game against the Dodgers, and he had a meeting with manager Joe Maddon about it.

Hammel was visibly angry when Maddon removed him with just one out in the third inning after allowing five hits and three runs, and he didn’t hide his displeasure when speaking to the media after the game.

“I didn’t even pitch today in my mind. I barely threw 40 pitches,” Hammel said, via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. “It was a side day for me pretty much.”

Maddon simply said that his decision was based on how the game was playing out, as well as the fact that he had rookie left-hander Rob Zastryzny available to face the Dodgers’ lefty-heavy lineup.

“Of course he didn’t like what I told him, but I had to tell him,” Maddon said. “He was not happy with me taking him out that early.

“And that’s cool. I’m not going to make an excuse why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence or any of these other issues. It was the right thing do to today, based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like, and Rob Z’s availability.”

Hammel and Maddon go way back. Beyond their shared time with the Cubs, Maddon managed Hammel for three years in Tampa Bay as well. However, their relationship seems to be going south at a bad time, and they likely won’t be sharing potato chips anytime soon.

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