Game Twenty-Nine – Cubs (11-17) vs. Cardinals (15-16)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.08/0.69/4.05) vs. Lance Lynn (4-1, 3.60/1.26/3.44)
The Cubs have won three games in a row for the first time this season and have posted victories in four of the last five games dating back to a seven days in Milwaukee. The Cubs will shoot for the series sweep over the Cardinals in front of a national audience in the ‘Game of the World.’
Tonight is the first of nine Sunday throwback days at Wrigley Field and is the second time the current Cubs team will honor a team that played at Wrigley by donning a replica jersey from that season. Both the Cubs and Cardinals will wear jerseys from 1929 tonight. The ’29 team was the first Cubs’ team to win a National League pennant at Wrigley Field and bring the Fall Classic to Wrigley Field.
The Cubs are playing good ball right now and will face a big challenge in Lance Lynn tonight. The Cubs have posted surprising wins in back-to-back days over Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha, and while Lynn is not considered to be as good as the top two pitchers in the Cardinals’ rotation, he’s had a lot of success against the Cubs during his career.
Lefties have hit rather well against Lance Lynn this year, which would seem to signal John Baker being in the starting lineup, plus he has worked extremely well with Jason Hammel this season. Left handers have managed a .785 OPS against Lynn (.291/.371/.452) while right handers have not fared nearly as well (.213/.264/.315/.554).
Keep an eye on the bullpen tonight. If there is a save opportunity for the Cubs, will Hector Rondon be available and pitch a third day in a row for the first time in his career? Or will Rick Renteria use Pedro Strop or Justin Grimm if the Cubs have a lead in the ninth inning?
ESPN will be calling tonight’s game from the bleachers.
And tonight it all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel had a very good first month with his new team. Hammel is coming off a gem in Milwaukee in which he took a no hitter into the sixth inning. Hammel ended up tossing seven innings of shutout ball while allowing three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Hammel picked up his fourth win and fifth quality start in five chances.
Hammel is making his third start at Wrigley Field tonight. Hammel is 2-0 in the first two with a 2.57 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP. Hammel limited the Pirates to three runs on three solo home runs in his Wrigley debut on April 9 and shut down the Diamondbacks on April 22 (one run on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts).
Based on the numbers, it is very likely Hammel serves up a home run or two tonight (five home runs off Hammel in five starts), the key as always is to limit them to solo shots. Hammel has done a very good job, to this point, of limiting his free passes (seven walks in 34 2/3 innings) and he must not help out the Cardinals tonight.
Jason Hammel has started two games against the Cardinals in his career, and has both a win and a loss on his resume against the Redbirds with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Jhonny Peralta: 7-for-15 with one double, two home runs and one walk
- Matt Holliday: 3-for-6 with two doubles and one walk
- Mark Ellis: 3-for-5 with one double
- Jon Jay: 1-for-3
- Yadier Molina: 1-for-3
- Allen Craig: 0-for-2
Lance Lynn has gotten off to a very good start this year. Lynn is coming off a short outing in Milwaukee but he still put his team into position to win the game. Lynn gave up three runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings. The five-inning outing was his shortest time on the mound since April 3 in Cincinnati. Lynn is throwing strikes, and has been very good outside of Busch Stadium (3-1 in four starts with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP) and if the Cubs walk to the plate swinging the bat, it is going to be a frustrating day for the offense.
Lance Lynn has had a lot of success against the Cubs. Lynn is 6-3 in 10 games, nine starts, with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Lynn usually figures into the outcome when he pitches against the Cubs. Lynn was 2-3 in five starts last year versus the Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP and he owns a 2-2 career mark in five starts at Wrigley with a 5.55 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Lance Lynn
- Starlin Castro: 10-for-27 with three doubles and one triple
- Darwin Barney: 5-for-19 with one double
- Anthony Rizzo: 4-for-19 with one home run and two walks
- Luis Valbuena: 1-for-9 with one home run and four walks
- Nate Schierholtz: 1-for-11 with one home run
- Welington Castillo: 4-for-6 with one home run and one walk
- Junior Lake: 1-for-3 with one walk
- Emilio Bonifacio: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …