Game Twenty-Three: Cubs (13-9) vs. Brewers (6-18)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN-TV Ch. 9, MLB Network – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel (2-1, 3.55/1.03/3.13) vs. Jimmy Nelson (1-2, 4.03/1.12/3.62)
The Cubs turn to Jason Hammel in the final game of the homestand and in the rubber game of the series with the Brewers. Hammel has the task of keeping the Brewers in check while his teammates attempt to put runs on the board. Milwaukee has not won back-to-back games or a series all season. Jason Hammel must make sure that string stays intact today.
The Brewers are getting healthy and have not played near expectations. If Milwaukee jumps out to an early lead, it could be another frustrating day for the Cubs.
The Cubs young offense is struggling right now. Only three runs in the last 30 innings since last Tuesday, and two of those runs came on solo homers by Addison Russell (Friday) and Anthony Rizzo (Saturday). It is up to the players to adjust to how the league is now pitching them.
The Cubs are 3-2 on the homestand. A win today in the final game at Wrigley without fans in the left and center field bleachers would not only guarantee a winning homestand but that Maddon would have Meat Loaf on the plane to St. Louis for the big series with the best team in the National League.
Today all starts with Jason Hammel …
The last time out Jason Hammel was exactly what the Cubs needed. Not only did Hammel keep the Pirates off the board, but he completed eight innings while scattering just four hits and striking out seven batters. Hammel was lights out and it will take a similar performance today in order for the Cubs to have a happy flight to St. Louis.
Jason Hammel makes his fifth start of the season this afternoon. What jumps out when looking at his stats over the first four appearances is that he has walked only one batter in 25 1/3 innings this year while striking out 23, not a bad strikeout to walk ratio.
This year at Wrigley, Hammel is 1-0 in two starts with a 2.51 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. And Hammel makes his seventh career start against the Brewers today.
Jason Hammel is one of the reasons the Cubs won the season series against Milwaukee a year ago. Hammel is 5-0 in six career starts versus the Brewers with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP … but last season, Hammel was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.64 WHIP. Hammel made two starts, completed seven innings each time out and gave up zero runs on seven hits with two walks and 15 strikeouts.
Brewers Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Gerardo Parra: 8-for-22 with two walks
- Adam Lind: 5-for-17 with two home runs and one walk
- Ryan Braun: 5-for-13 with one double and one walk
- Aramis Ramirez: 1-for-8
- Khris Davis: 1-for-6
- Elian Herrera: 0-for-3
- Jean Segura: 0-for-3
Jimmy Nelson was off to a good start to his season. He limited Pittsburgh in back-to-back outings to begin his year to three runs, two earned, on seven hits in 12 innings with two walks and 12 strikeouts. In his third start, he held the Reds in check for eight innings and allowed one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Nelson was pitching to expectations, finally, at the big league level.
In his last start against the Reds in Cincinnati, Nelson lasted just 2 1/3 innings and gave up seven runs on six hits with five walks and only one strikeout.
The Cubs simply cannot allow him to get any confidence this afternoon. Long counts, walks and a couple of early runs will get him out of the game and into the Brewers pen.
Jimmy Nelson makes his fifth career appearance, third start, this afternoon against the Cubs. Nelson is 0-2 with a 5.02 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Last season, Nelson was 0-2 in two starts with a 6.97 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP (eight runs on 15 this with two walks and eight strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings) … and at Wrigley Field, Nelson is 0-1 in two appearances, one start, with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jimmy Nelson
- Chris Coghlan: 4-for-6 with two doubles and one home run
- Starlin Castro: 2-for-5 with one double
- Jorge Soler: 2-for-5 with two doubles
- Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-4
- Welington Castillo: 2-for-3 with one home run
- Junior Lake: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …