Manuel, Johnson Don't Expect Repeat Fireworks

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What will happen the next time Bryce Harper faces Cole Hamels? (Staff/AP Photos)

Neither Charlie Manuel nor Washington manager Davey Johnson expect an encore of what occurred the last time Cole Hamels pitched against the Nationals.

Both said before tonight’s game at Citizens Bank Park that it is a dead issue.

On May 6, Hamels hit rookie Bryce Harper with his first pitch to the rookie duringin a game the Phillies won, 9-3 at Nationals Park. After the game Hamels admitted that the pitch that hit Harper in the back, was done on purpose.

Hamels was hit by Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman in his first at-bat.

After his admission, Hamels was suspended five games.

“I’m expecting a normal game,” Manuel said. “I think the baseball part will be handled on the field.”

Manuel said the slate is cleaned.

“I said a few times, when they hit him that was even, if the umpire didn’t warm nobody and stuff like that, it was kind of giving him a chance for them to get even,” Manuel said. “And Hamels could have got hurt just as much as that kid could have got hurt.”

Manuel then found time to inject some humor when continuing to talk about an even slate.

“Now if Cole strikes him out three or four times tonight it won’t be even,” Manuel said to laughter. “If he takes him deep it won’t be even.”

Johnson called it a dead issue.

“The only thing exacerbating it was him saying something about it,” Johnson said. He didn’t head hunt, he hit one of my good hitters in the back,” Johnson said. “I am proud of my guy and as far as I’m concerned it was an off-the-cuff mark from a lefthanded pitcher.”

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