Game Forty-Three – Cubs (15-27) vs. Yankees (23-20)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel (4-2, 3.06/0.91/3.36) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (6-0, 2.17/0.91/2.78)
Weather permitting … The Cubs welcome the Yankees to Wrigley Field tonight after Monday’s well-deserved day off. The Cubs took two of three from the Brewers to start the five-game homestand and with a win over the next two days, the Cubs will post a winning homestand.
The Cubs have really struggled against the Junior Circuit this season (1-5 in six games). After failing to score a single run in the day-night doubleheader in the Bronx on April 16, the Cubs lost three of four to the White Sox earlier this month.
Alfonso Soriano makes his return to Wrigley Field tonight. Soriano has always hit well against the Cubs (13-for-46 with five doubles, one triple and two home runs in 11 games) and is off to a slow start in pinstripes this season (.248/.276/.431/.707 with 10 doubles and six home runs). Soriano has been seeing time in right field (10 games) and should receive a very warm welcome before his first at bat tonight.
The Cubs will honor Derek Jeter prior to tonight’s game in recognition of his Hall of Fame career. ‘The Captain’ is 2-for-11 in three career games at Wrigley Field with two doubles and three walks.
After tonight’s rematch of Jason Hammel and Masahiro Tanaka, Jeff Samardzija will wrap up the homestand on Wednesday afternoon against Chase Whitley. ‘Plan B’ will try to hand Tanaka his first loss since August of 2012.
The Cubs hit the road after Wednesday afternoon’s game for 10 games over 11 days in three cities. The Cubs open a four-game series in San Diego on Thursday night and will spend the first part of next week in San Francisco. After a day off on Thursday, May 29, the long road trip ends with three at Miller Park (May 30-June 1).
Look for John Baker behind the plate and a different game plan against Masahiro Tanaka. Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel is coming off his worst start of the season. Hammel had a really bad second inning in St. Louis last Thursday and his offense was not able to bail him out. Hammel gave up four runs in the second (Michael Wacha, two-out, two-run single) and retired the Cardinals in order in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings before giving up another run in the sixth inning. Hammel jokingly blamed his bad outing on striking out the side in order in the first inning. Hammel was charged with five runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. It was the first non-quality start for the veteran right hander all year (eight starts).
Jason Hammel has done his job at Wrigley Field over the first month and a half of the season. Hammel is 2-0 in three starts with a 3.15 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP in his temporary home park.
Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees beat ‘Plan B’ in the first of two on April 16. Hammel allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. Tonight will be Hammel’s 13th career start against the Yankees. Hammel is 3-4 in 18 games, 12 starts, with a 5.04 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP
Yankees Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
Masahiro Tanaka has been as advertised over his first eight starts. And the numbers that stand out the most from his six weeks in the big leagues are 66 strikeouts and seven walks in 58 innings. Tanaka is making it look very easy. Tanaka is coming off a complete game shutout in Flushing. Tanaka gave up just four hits to the Mets with eight strikeouts and no walks.
The Cubs will be the first team to face Tanaka for the second time this season. Tanaka pitched eight innings of shutout ball against the Cubs in the Bronx on April 16. Tanaka struck out 10 batters with one walk and two hits allowed.
Cubs Numbers against Masahiro Tanaka from April 16
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …