Game Seventy-Eight – Cubs (33-44) vs. Nationals (41-37)
- Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel (6-5, 2.99/1.02/3.29) vs. Tanner Roark (7-4, 2.79/1.11/3.40)
The Cubs will shoot for two in a row over the first place Nationals this afternoon behind Jason Hammel. The Cubs are back to .500 at Wrigley after Thursday night’s win and are 3-4 on the homestand with three games in two days left to play.
Rick Renteria said Thursday the team plans to work Welington Castillo back into an everyday role and with Jason Hammel on the hill today, John Baker would have started anyway. Will Baker catch game one tomorrow with Welington Castillo in the nightcap with Jeff Samardzija on the bump?
Tanner Roark, the Wilmington High School product, makes his first start at Wrigley this afternoon and is expected to have a rather large crowd on hand to watch him pitch his second game at Wrigley. And Roark has been very good for Matt Williams this season.
Rick Renteria should load his lineup with as many right handers as possible, including Mike Olt. Right handers are hitting .268/.302/.321 against Roark this season while lefties have managed a .192/.268/.314 line.
This afternoon all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel bounced back from rough starts against the Pirates in Pittsburgh and Marlins and pitched a good game his last time out, despite taking the loss. Hammel completed seven innings for the first time since June 6 and really made only two mistakes. Hammel served up a solo home run to Travis Snider and walked backup catcher Chris Stewart, who was able to score without a ball leaving the infield. Hammel gave up two runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts to the Pirates … and based on his comments following his last start, he will be glad to face a team not from Pittsburgh today.
Jason Hammel has pitched rather well for the Cubs this season and is 0-2 in his last four starts with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Even as he’s struggled, Hammel has averaged more than six innings in each of his last four starts. Hammel is 3-1 in six starts at Wrigley with a 2.27 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP.
Today will be Hammel’s ninth career start against the Nationals. Jason Hammel is 6-0 in the first eight with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Hammel saw quite a bit of the Nats when he was with the Orioles for two seasons.
Nationals Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
Tanner Roark is having a very good first full season in the majors. Roark is coming off a win against the Braves in which he allowed one run on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Roark has not lost a game since June 1 and has not lost a game in which he pitched poorly since May 3. Roark has not allowed more than two earned runs in a single outing since he faced the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 3. Roark is 4-1 in his last five starts with a 1.44 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
Today will be his eighth start outside of Nationals Park. Tanner Roark is 3-1 in the first seven with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP … and he will make his first career start versus the Cubs.
Tanner Roark faced the Cubs last Aug. 21 at Wrigley Field and gave up two runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Cubs Career Numbers against Tanner Roark
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …