Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/5/14

May 31, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel (39) pitches in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. The Cubs won 8-0. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
In the end, it was nothing more than a parting shot. Pulled from the Cubs’ 7-2 victory over the Nationals on Friday after giving up a leadoff double in the seventh inning, Jason Hammel fumed about a pitch-count issue raised two months ago by Jeff Samardzija and discussed privately by Cubs pitchers since. “I have no idea why I came out of the game [at the 92-pitch mark],” Hammel, who was working with a 4-1 lead at the time, said unsolicited. “I honestly believe you learn how to pitch when you get to 100 pitches. If you’re not allowed to reach that, I think that’s hurting you more than helping you. I guess it is what it is right now.” Hammel’s decision to air feelings he acknowledged are shared by others on the staff gave a rare glimpse into some of the tension within the Cubs’ rebuilding transition — even during this feel-good 25-19 run since mid-May that includes four consecutive victories to start an 11-game road trip. Especially when it comes from a guy who repeatedly has said nothing but good things about the city and the team and given the organization reason to believe he might be willing to return even after being traded to the Athletics with Samardzija late Friday. “I can understand [strict limits] for maybe a minor-league guy. But we’re up here trying to win,” Hammel said. “I know it’s not [manager] Ricky [Renteria’s] fault. I think it’s coming from somewhere else. But I prepare myself to go out there and pitch deep into ballgames, and if you can’t even get to 100 pitches … . It’s basically a cap on what we can do. Why are we going out there, honestly, if it’s just, ‘You’re going to get this many pitches. It doesn’t matter what the situation is’? It’s just very frustrating.”
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