Game Thirty-Eight: Cubs (21-16) vs. Padres (19-20)
- Game Time – 9:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN-TV Ch. 9, MLB Network – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – PETCO Park, San Diego
Jason Hammel (3-1, 3.11/0.99/3.37) vs. James Shields (5-0, 3.91/1.28/4.85)
The Cubs return to the field tonight after a much needed day off. The Cubs begin a difficult road trip out west with the first of three against the Padres. The six-game, two-city trip wraps Sunday with the last of three versus the Diamondbacks.
The Cubs enter play tonight five games over .500, 3 1/2 back of the Cardinals with the fifth most wins in the National League. The Cubs are 8-8 outside of Wrigley Field. The Cubs begin a stretch tonight of 21 straight games against teams outside of the NL Central … and 32 of next 36 are with teams other than the Cubs’ division rivals.
Joe Maddon will have a slightly different roster tonight and should have a bench with at least two options plus David Ross. Junior Lake is expected to join the big league team in San Diego. The other roster moves have not been announced yet.
Playing in San Diego has not gone too well for the Cubs over the years. The Cubs lost two of three against the Padres last month at Wrigley (April 17-19) and thanks to the schedule makers, the Cubs will not see San Diego again in the regular season after Thursday.
After tonight’s match-up of Jason Hammel and James Shields, Tsuyoshi Wada is scheduled to make his 2015 big league debut on Wednesday night against Tyson Ross. Kyle Hendricks takes the hill in Thursday’s finale. Bud Black has not announced his starter yet.
The Padres are not playing to expectations, especially on the pitching side. But Bud Black could receive a boost from getting Wil Myers back in the lineup. Myers is expected to be a game time decision.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo will look to make an impact for the Cubs in their return to San Diego.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
For the second time in as many starts Jason Hammel is going to face the best the other team has to offer. Hammel went toe-to-toe with Matt Harvey in his last outing and the Cubs won the game. Tonight he gets James Shields and will have to turn in a similar performance in order to put the Cubs in position for a win. Shields has already beaten Hammel once this season.
Hammel limited the Mets to one run on five hits in eight innings. Hammel struck out six and walked one in what was his fourth strong start in a row. Hammel is 1-0 in his last three starts with a 2.57 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. Hammel has given up 15 hits with five walks and 18 strikeouts in 21 innings.
The road has not been kind to Hammel this season. One of the three starts came in Denver which elevated his numbers slightly. Hammel is 2-1 in three starts outside of Wrigley with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
Hammel faces the Friars for the second time this season. Hammel ran into problems in the seventh, turned the game over to the bullpen with a 4-2 lead and Brian Schlitter served up a three-run homer to Wil Myers. On April 17, Hammel allowed four runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
For his career, Hammel is 4-3 in 14 games, 13 starts, against the Padres with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP … at PETCO Park, Hammel is 3-1 in five starts with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.
Padres Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Justin Upton: 8-for-32 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks
- Matt Kemp: 8-for-28 with two doubles, one home run and four walks
- Will Venable: 1-for-17 with one triple and one walk
- Wil Myers: 2-for-6
- Jedd Gyorko: 1-for-5
- Yangervis Solarte: 0-for-3 with two walks
- Will Middlebrooks: 1-for-4 with one home run
- Alexi Amarista: 2-for-3
- Clint Barmes: 0-for-3
- Derek Norris: 0-for-3
- James Shields: 0-for-2
James Shields hasn’t exactly pitched to expectations of late, but he’s won the last three times he has taken the hill and that is all that matters. Shields held the Mariners to one run on six hits with three walks and nine strikeouts over six innings in his last start.
James Shields, even pitching in PETCO Park, leads all of baseball in home runs allowed. Shields has served up 12 gopher ball this year.
Over his last three starts, Shields has allowed 11 runs on 21 hits with six walks and 23 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings … eight of the 21 hits have left the park.
At PETCO this year, Shields is 2-0 in three starts with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. And Shields faces the Cubs for the second time tonight.
The Cubs were in line to beat James Shields back in April before the bullpen happened. The Cubs scored four runs, three earned, on five hits off Shields with two walks and nine strikeouts in six innings.
Cubs Career Numbers against James Shields
- Chris Coghlan: 5-for-15 with two doubles and five walks
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-7
- David Ross: 0-for-5
- Kris Bryant: 0-for-3
- Starlin Castro: 0-for-3
- Jason Hammel: 1-for-3 with one double
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-2 with one double and one walk
- Jorge Soler: 1-for-3
- Jonathan Herrera: 1-for-2
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …