Game Twenty-Eight: Cubs (14-13) vs. Brewers (9-20)
- Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Jason Hammel (2-1, 3.73/1.02/3.36) vs. Jimmy Nelson (1-2, 4.03/1.17/3.27)
The Cubs seven-game, two city road trip wraps up this weekend with three games at Miller Park. And Joe Maddon hands the ball to Jason Hammel in the opener.
The Cubs had a rough start to the trip in St. Louis. Even with going toe-to-toe with the best team in the National League, the Cubs lost three of four to the Redbirds. After giving the Brewers two of three last weekend at Wrigley, the Cubs will look to at least return the favor to the Brewers over the next three days. The Cubs gave Milwaukee life last week, they are getting healthy and have played better under their new skipper.
The Brewers have a new manager in Craig Counsell. Milwaukee made the change Monday and the Brewers split the four games with the Dodgers. The Brewers have a very good roster, on paper, that has not played near expectations. Joe Maddon has to make sure there is not a letdown coming off the series with the Cardinals. Three wins in Milwaukee against a team of players still struggling to find its identity would be a very good way to finish the trip.
Maddon could really use a seven or eight-inning performance from Jason Hammel tonight. All eyes will be on Hammel to see how he pitches early in the game. Hammel dealt with a cracked nail on the middle finger of his pitching hand last Sunday. While Hammel is busy keeping the Brewers off the board, the offense gets another shot at Jimmy Nelson. The side that makes the right adjustments will be the key to tonight’s opener.
Travis Wood is scheduled to face Kyle Lohse on Saturday night. Kyle Hendricks takes the hill in the finale. And Matt Garza gets another shot at shoving it down the Cubs’ throat Sunday afternoon for trading him to a contending team nearly two years ago.
Early runs for the offense and early zeros from Jason Hammel will go a long way to a successful and winning series against the Brewers.
Sunday is the last of 19 straight games against teams in the NL Central. After Sunday, the Cubs will have played a home and away series over this stretch with the Reds, Cardinals, Pirates and Brewers. Sixteen games in, the Cubs are 8-8 and 11-9 on the season versus the NL Central after finishing with a 33-43 record within their own division a year ago.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel did not use it as an excuse but he dealt with a cracked/broken finger nail on the middle finger of his pitching hand during his last outing. Hammel was not sharp and still posted a quality start against the Brewers. Hammel gave up three runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings. Coming off the series in St. Louis, Hammel must set the tone for the Cubs early in this game.
Hammel makes his third road start of the season tonight. Hammel struggled in Pittsburgh after posting a win with a quality start in Denver. Hammel is 1-1 in two starts outside of Wrigley Field this season with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.
Tonight is Hammel’s eighth career start against the Brewers. Hammel is 5-0 in the first seven with a 2.20 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP … in four starts at Miller Park, Hammel is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. And the Cubs could really use for Hammel to pitch the way he has in the past in Milwaukee again tonight.
Brewers Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Gerardo Parra: 8-for-22 with two walks
- Adam Lind: 6-for-20 with one double, two home runs and one walk
- Ryan Braun: 5-for-16 with one double and one walk
- Carlos Gomez: 4-for-16 with one double
- Aramis Ramirez: 2-for-10 with one home run and one walk
- Khris Davis: 1-for-7
- Scooter Gennett: 2-for-5 with one walk
- Jean Segura: 0-for-6
- Elian Herrera: 1-for-5
- Martin Maldonado: 0-for-2
- Jimmy Nelson: 1-for-2
Jimmy Nelson bounced back from his not-so-good start against the Reds and recorded a quality start against the Cubs. Nelson is finally pitching to expectations, with the exception of one outing this year. But Nelson is not as good as the Cubs made him look last Sunday. Nelson gave up three runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts to the Cubs in 6 2/3 innings.
Nelson makes his third start of the year at Miller Park tonight. Nelson silenced the Pirates on April 11 and limited the Reds to one run on three hits in eight innings on April 22. In two games in his home park this year, Nelson is 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP (one run on five hits with four walks and 14 strikeouts in 15 innings).
In five career games, three starts, against the Cubs, Jimmy Nelson is 0-2 with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP (11 runs on 23 hits with six walks and 16 strikeouts in 21 innings).
Cubs Career Numbers against Jimmy Nelson
- Chris Coghlan: 4-for-9 with two doubles and one walk
- Jorge Soler: 4-for-9 with three doubles
- Starlin Castro: 2-for-7 with one double
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-7 with one triple
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-4
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-3 with one double
- Welington Castillo: 2-for-3 with one home run
- Jason Hammel: 0-for-2
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-2 with one walk
- Addison Russell: 1-for-3
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …