Game Seventy-Four: Cubs (39-34) vs. Cardinals (50-24)
- Game Time – 7:08pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.65/0.94/3.03) vs. Carlos Martinez (8-3, 2.89/1.26/3.60)
Weather permitting … The Cubs will turn to Jason Hammel to snap the four-game losing streak in the finale in St. Louis. With a win tonight, the Cubs will avoid a season-high five-game skid and guarantee themselves a winning month of June (13-12 entering play). And not only will the flight to New York be that much better, but spending the first off-day in three weeks with a victory in St. Louis will allow the players to take an even deeper breath leading into the stretch before the All-Star Game.
The Cubs must not allow Carlos Martinez to get comfortable tonight. Martinez is a lot like former Cubs’ right-hander Carlos Zambrano. If he is rattled early he will unravel and beat himself, but like Zambrano if he settles in, look out because he has great stuff.
The Cubs have had plenty of chances to put runs on the board in the last two games. The offense has scored only three runs and is 2-for-17 with RISP while leaving 19 men on base in the first two games of the series.
Len Kasper will be on the radio side tonight with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel held the Dodgers in check his last time out. Hammel outpitched Zack Greinke and kept the Dodgers off the board for 7 2/3 innings. Hammel had very good command and came within a walk of completing eight innings. Joe Maddon needs a similar performance from Hammel tonight in St. Louis. Hammel allowed two hits over 7 2/3 shutout innings while walking two and striking out six batters.
Hammel is 2-0 in his last five starts with a 2.01 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. And on the road this year, Hammel is 4-2 in eight starts with a 3.02 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.
Jason Hammel has avoided the best team in baseball this season and the Cardinals will try to get their hacks in against him for the first time since last summer. Hammel had a tough time with the Redbirds a year ago. Hammel was 0-1 in two starts with a 6.35 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Hammel allowed eight runs on 12 hits with four walks and 11 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. And the one outing at Busch Stadium is what skewed the line. Hammel allowed five runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
For his career, Hammel is 1-2 in four starts versus the Redbirds with a 6.10 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. At Busch Stadium, Jason Hammel is 1-2 in three starts with a 6.75 ERA and 1.57 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Jhonny Peralta: 8-for-20 with one double, two home runs and two walks
- Mark Reynolds: 2-for-14 with one walk
- Jason Heyward: 8-for-14
- Yadier Molina: 3-for-9 with one double
- Matt Carpenter: 2-for-6 with one double
- Randal Grichuk: 1-for-3 with one triple
- Jon Jay: 1-for-3
- Peter Bourjos: 0-for-1 with one walk
The Cubs get another look at Carlos Martinez tonight. Martinez has been lights out since back-to-back rough starts against the Pirates and Cubs in early May. Martinez is coming off a good outing in Miami, one in which he allowed more than two earned runs for the first time since May 9. The Marlins scored three runs on eight hits with a walk and Martinez struck out nine in seven innings.
Over his last four starts the volatile Martinez is 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Martinez is 3-1 in six starts at Busch Stadium with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.
The Cubs must get under Martinez’s skin early. If they can take him out of his game mentally, he can be beaten. Martinez makes his second start against the Cubs tonight. In 11 games, one start, Carlos Martinez has allowed 10 runs on 15 hits with eight walks and 12 strikeouts in 14 innings. The Cubs should have beaten him earlier in the season.
Cubs Career Numbers against Carlos Martinez
- Starlin Castro: 1-for-8
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-5 with one home run and one walk
- Chris Coghlan: 0-for-4 with one walk
- Miguel Montero: 2-for-4 with one double and one walk
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-3 with one walk
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-1 with two walks
- Chris Denorfia: 3-for-3
- David Ross: 0-for-2
- Addison Russell: 1-for-2
- Travis Wood: 1-for-2
- Jonathan Herrera: 1-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …