Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 06/11/14

Game Sixty-Three – Cubs (26-36) vs. Pirates (30-34)

  • Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
  • Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Jason Hammel (6-3, 2.53/0.88/2.89) vs. Brandon Cumpton (1-2, 6.51/1.55/3.55)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will try to make it two wins in a row at PNC Park tonight behind Jason Hammel. The Cubs answered their poor performance on Monday night with a good effort from the offense on Tuesday. The Cubs put up a couple of runs on the board against Francisco Liriano before he had to leave the game with discomfort in his left side. Clint Hurdle had to dip into his bullpen early and often and if the offense is patient tonight and make Brandon Cumpton work, the Cubs could put themselves into a position to win a series on the road in Thursday’s finale.

A balanced lineup would seem to be in order for Rick Renteria tonight. Brandon Cumpton has given up a lot of hits over his five starts this season. Lefties are hitting a robust .350/.409/.409 against him while righties have managed a .315/.358/.378 line.

Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel has been very good his last two starts and has not allowed a run of any kind since May 25 in San Diego. Hammel followed up his seven innings of shutout ball in Milwaukee with seven scoreless innings against Miami in his last start. Hammel has scattered 10 hits over his last 14 innings with 16 strikeouts and one intentional free pass. And his teammates will need for him to keep it up tonight in order to beat the Pirates for the second straight night.

Jason Hammel faced the Pirates in his first two starts of the season (April 3, April 9) and beat the Bucs both times. Hammel is 4-1 in six career games, five starts, against Pittsburgh with a 3.67 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. Hammel in 2-1 in three games, two starts, with a 3.14 ERA and a 0.63 WHIP at PNC in his career and 2-0 this season with a 2.63 ERA and a 0.51 WHIP.

Pirates Numbers against Jason Hammel in 2014

The Cubs will get their first look at right hander Brandon Cumpton tonight. Cumpton had a decent start his last time out. Cumpton gave up three runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings to the Brewers. Cumpton walked two and struck out three batters. The Dodgers took it to Cumpton in Los Angeles on May 31. The rookie was shelled for 11 runs, 10 earned, on 11 hits with only one ball leaving the park. Cumpton has pitched much better at PNC this season in two starts than on the road. Cumpton is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

The Cubs should have plenty of video on Cumpton but this type of pitcher has historically had his way with the Cubs. Cumpton is not a hard thrower (91-92 mph range, low-80s slider), keeps the ball down and has good minor league numbers against right handed hitters.

If the offense does not make him work early, it will be another frustrating night in the visitor’s dugout.

No one on the Cubs active roster has faced Brandon Cumpton in a regular season big league ballgame.

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