Game Thirty-Four – Cubs (12-21) vs. Braves (18-15)
- Game Time – 6:35pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187, 844
- Location – Turner Field, Atlanta
Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.43/0.81/3.79) vs. Julio Teheran (2-2, 1.80/0.88/3.94)
Weather permitting … The Cubs nine-game, three-city road trip continues tonight with the first of three in Atlanta. The Braves are reeling and are 2-8 in their last 10 games and have slipped behind the Marlins and Nationals in the NL East. The Braves can pitch, pitch and pitch some more, but Fredi Gonzalez’s team has trouble putting the ball in play and when the offense goes cold, it goes ice cold.
After tonight’s matchup of Jason Hammel and Julio Teheran, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Ervin Santana on Friday night. The Cubs and Braves wrap up the series on Sunday afternoon with Edwin Jackson scheduled to take on lefty Alex Wood.
The offensively challenged Cubs will not catch a break this weekend and will have to figure out how to manufacture runs against Atlanta’s staff. The Cubs have really struggled against the Braves over the past several seasons and managed only one win in six tries (1-5) against Atlanta a year ago.
Not many batters have success against Julio Teheran, but righties (.226/.250/.320) have hit him better than southpaws (.171/.236/.281) this season.
The Cubs sent Jason Hammel to Atlanta on Thursday night so he would be well-rested for tonight’s game. The weekend in Atlanta all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel is coming off his sixth straight quality start last Sunday. Hammel surrendered three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings to the Cardinals. And while statistically it was a good outing, Hammel did not have it. Hammel struggled with his command, left a lot of pitches up and the Cardinals punished the baseball while he was on the mound. Hammel lasted only six innings and did not figure into the decision for the first time this season. While pitchers win-loss records are meaningless, a team’s record on the day a pitcher starts is still valued. The Cubs are 4-2 on the days when Hammel takes the hill … more than a third of the Cubs’ wins this year.
Jason Hammel is 2-1 in three starts outside of Wrigley Field this season with a 1.74 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP, which should help his value over the next two months.
Tonight will be Hammel’s seventh career start against the Braves, and he’s not fared too well against the team originally from Boston over the course of his career. Hammel is 1-3 in six starts with a 6.39 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. At Turner Field, Hammel is 1-2 in three starts with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. But the last time Jason Hammel faced the Braves on June 16, 2012, he threw a complete game, one-hit shut out in Atlanta and gave up two walks with eight strikeouts.
Braves Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Justin Upton: 7-for-23 with two doubles, one home run and two walks
- Dan Uggla: 3-for-12 with one double and two walks
- Jordan Schafer: 2-for-8 with two walks
- Ryan Doumit: 0-for-6 with one walk
- Jason Heyward: 6-for-8
- Freddie Freeman: 2-for-3
- Andrelton Simmons: 0-for-3
- Gerald Laird: 1-for-2
- B.J. Upton: 0-for-2
Julio Teheran has been just about as good as it gets this season. Teheran makes his eighth start tonight and has not completed less than six innings in any outing while allowing more than two earned runs only one time. Teheran has two shutout outings under his belt, including a complete game shutout in Philly on April 16. In 50 innings, he has allowed 35 hits with nine walks. The struggling Cubs offense faces a huge challenge tonight.
Teheran lost his last outing against the Giants because the Braves scored a grand total of one run. Teheran allowed three runs (season high) on four this with no walks and seven strikeouts. Teheran is 0-1 in four home starts this season with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP and he makes his third career start against the Cubs tonight.
Julio Teheran is 1-0 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP, with both of those outings happening a year ago.
Cubs Career Numbers against Julio Teheran
- Starlin Castro: 1-for-6
- Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-6 with one home run
- Luis Valbuena: 1-for-6 with one home run
- Nate Schierholtz: 2-for-5 with one double
- Chris Coghlan: 0-for-3 with one walk
- Welington Castillo: 1-for-3
- Darwin Barney: 1-for-2
- Junior Lake: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …