Game Nine: Cubs (5-3) vs. Padres (6-4)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ABC 7 – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel (1-0, 4.50/1.33/3.14) vs. James Shields (1-0, 2.08/0.92/3.82)
Following one of the more memorable off days in recent years, the Cubs return to the field this afternoon with a new player on the big league roster.
All of the attention today will be on Kris Bryant as he makes his big league debut. The front office made the decision and pulled him up early due to the need on the roster. Mike Olt will be placed on the DL prior to adding Bryant to the 40-man roster and activating him for today’s game.
Kris Bryant will be in the starting lineup and manning third base today. Where he hits in the lineup is another question and many think Joe Maddon will insert him in the middle of the batting order with Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler and Starlin Castro.
The Cubs open the three-game weekend series with the first of three against the new-look San Diego Padres. A.J. Preller remade the Padres during the off-season with one of the busiest winters a team has ever had. Preller has assembled a very good roster that most of the experts think will end up on top of the NL West when it’s all said and done this season.
James Shields picked the Padres over the Cubs at the end of the off-season despite a late push from the Cubs and Joe Maddon to sign him. Shields has been very good atop of the Padres’ rotation so far. The Cubs have their work cut out for them over the next three days, not only with Bud Black’s starting staff but with Craig Kimbrel in the back of the pen if the Padres have a lead, it will be an eight-inning game.
After today’s matchup of Jason Hammel and James Shields, Kyle Hendricks takes on Tyson Ross on Saturday afternoon. The series wraps Sunday with Jon Lester facing Andrew Cashner. And Cashner always brings his best against the team that drafted him and the front office that traded him away.
The Cubs were 3-4 in the seven games with the Padres last season. But that was then and both teams have different goals this year.
Today all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel is coming off a quality start and a win in his first outing of the season. Hammel gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings to the Rockies. The key to Hammel’s success was no walks. Hammel struck out six batters and collected his first two hits of the season. Hammel pitched better than his final line in Colorado indicates.
Hammel makes his first start of the season at Wrigley this afternoon. Last year, the veteran right hander was 4-1 in seven starts at the old ballyard with a 2.35 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Hammel gave up 12 runs on 35 hits with seven walks and 41 strikeouts in 46 innings.
Over 13 appearances, 12 starts, in his career against San Diego, Jason Hammel is 4-3 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Hammel lost his only start against the Padres last season. Hammel gave up three runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in San Diego on May 25.
Padres Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Justin Upton: 8-for-29 with two home runs and two walks
- Matt Kemp: 7-for-25 with two doubles, one home run and four walks
- Will Venable: 1-for-17 with one triple and one walk
- Wil Nieves: 1-for-6
- Yangervis Solarte: 0-for-3 with two walks
- Yonder Alonso: 1-for-3
- Clint Barmes: 0-for-3
- Wil Myers: 0-for-3
- Jedd Gyorko: 0-for-2
- Will Middlebrooks: 0-for-1
James Shields makes his third start of the season this afternoon. Shields received a no decision on Opening Day after allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts to the Dodgers in six innings. Shields was a lot better his last time out against the Giants. Shields limited one of the teams that were interested in signing him during the off-season to one run on three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings. The lone run scored on a Joaquin Arias solo homer in the fourth inning.
The only start James Shields has made against the Cubs in his career was in 2008 at the Trop. Shields gave up three runs on seven hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Shields received a no-decision in a Rays 8-3 victory over the Cubs.
Cubs Career Numbers against James Shields
- Chris Coghlan: 5-for-13 with two doubles and four walks
- David Ross: 0-for-5
- Dexter Fowler: 0-for-4
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …