Game Nineteen – Cubs (6-12) vs. Diamondbacks (5-17)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel (2-1, 3.05/0.73/4.77) vs. Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 7.11/1.42/5.60)
The Cubs will try to post back-to-back wins for the first time this season behind Jason Hammel tonight. The Cubs offense will have to step it up tonight under the lights and support Jason Hammel. Like Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija, Hammel has put the Cubs in position to win each game he’s started this season and he was on the wrong end of a shutout the last time out.
Rick Renteria should run out a similar lineup tonight to the one that faced Bronson Arroyo. Left handers have beat up Brandon McCarthy this season to the tune of a .370/.400/.500 slash line in four games while right handers have hit only .228/.267/.492 against him. Over the course of his career, lefties (.267/.319/.384) and righties (.265/.310/.384) have hit virtually the same against McCarthy. With the lefty Wade Miley starting on Wednesday, tonight would be a good time to give Welington Castillo a break, plus John Baker and Jason Hammel have worked well together in two of Hammel’s three starts this season.
Tonight it all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel has posted three quality starts in three outings this season and was on the wrong end of a shutout last Wednesday in the Bronx. Hammel faced Masahiro Tanaka during the day game of the twin bill and did not receive any support whatsoever. Hammel gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings with three walks and five strikeouts. Hammel has been very good despite giving up four home runs in 20 2/3 innings. All four homers have been solo shots.
Hammel is making his second start at Wrigley tonight. Hammel limited the Pirates to three solo home runs in seven innings back on April 9. Hammel must keep the D-Backs in the yard tonight … and if he gives one up, just make sure the longballs are solo shots.
Despite what Anthony Rizzo may have thought Jason Hammel has faced Arizona quite a bit over his career. Hammel is 3-3 in 11 games, eight starts, against the Diamondbacks with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Gerardo Parra: 7-for-20 with two walks
- Miguel Montero: 3-for-18 with one double, one home run and two walks
- Aaron Hill: 2-for-13 with one walk
- Martin Prado: 5-for-13 with one home run and one walk
- Cody Ross: 1-for-12
- Eric Chavez: 1-for-8 with one home run
- Mark Trumbo: 2-for-8
- Paul Goldschmidt: 1-for-3 with one double
- Cliff Pennington: 0-for-1
Brandon McCarthy, like the rest of his staff mates, is off to a rough start to the season. McCarthy is coming off a loss to the Mets in which he gave up three runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. McCarthy has given up a lot of hits (30) while having trouble keeping the ball in the yard (6) in just 25 1/3 innings this season. McCarthy is healthy and is pitching … and is due for a good outing.
Brandon McCarthy is making his second career start against the Cubs tonight. McCarthy does not have a decision in two appearances, one start, with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. McCarthy’s start against the Cubs came on May 22, 2005 at Wrigley. McCarthy gave up two runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings with one walk and six strikeouts. The Cubs topped the White Sox 3-2 with Mark Prior picking up the win.
Ryan Sweeney (3-for-12 with one double and one walk), Luis Valbuena (0-for-3) and Justin Ruggiano (0-for-1) are the only three Cubs on the active roster that have faced Brandon McCarthy in a regular season game.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …