Game Sixty-Nine: Cubs (38-30) vs. Dodgers (39-32)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.89/0.98/3.09) vs. Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.81/0.94/2.95)
The Cubs turn to Jason Hammel tonight in search of their fourth straight win and two in a row over the Dodgers. The Cubs enter play a season-high eight games over .500, a half game back of the Pirates for second place in the NL Central and 6 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the division.
A day after beating one of the best pitchers in the game, the Cubs will have to keep it going against Zack Greinke. The Dodgers’ right hander is having a very good season in what many view as his walk year. Greinke has been at the top of his game. And like Clayton Kershaw, the Cubs have to take advantage of the few mistakes Greinke will make on the mound. Greinke is not the biggest fan of Wrigley Field and the Cubs could take advantage early of his uneasiness of pitching at Wrigley before he has a chance to settle in.
It is doubtful Dexter Fowler will be in the starting lineup, if he is able to avoid the DL altogether Joe Maddon will have a shorter bench tonight. Travis Wood will give him another option after pitching three-plus innings Monday night. It is imperative Jason Hammel gets back on track tonight and that his defense sets the right tone early. Hammel has struggled getting out of the first inning his last two times out. A quick first for Hammel and early runs of Greinke could make for a good night at the old ballyard.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel was on his way to the All-Star Game in Cincinnati until he faced the Reds at Wrigley on June 12. Hammel has struggled in each of his last two starts, even his last time out before the rain shortened his outing.
Hammel has not had the command that propelled him to the top of the pitching stats in the NL the last two times out. Hammel barely made it through the fifth inning and would have had a hard time completing six with the way his start against the Indians was going.
Joe Maddon needs the ‘Hammer’ back because even with the games against the Reds and Indians figured in, Hammel is 2-0 in his last four starts with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
Jason Hammel takes the hill at Wrigley tonight for the sixth time this season. Hammel is 1-0 in the first five trips with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.
The Dodgers have had their way with Hammel over the course of his career. Hammel is 2-5 in 14 games, 10 starts, with a 5.52 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP … the Dodgers have hit .305 against him. Hammel last faced the Dodgers on April 20, 2013. Jason Hammel gave up four runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Adrian Gonzalez: 6-for-32 with two doubles, one home run and four walks
- Andre Ethier: 9-for-25 with one double, two home runs and four walks
- Jimmy Rollins: 3-for-16 with one home run and three walks
- Howie Kendrick: 7-for-13 with two doubles and one walk
- Alberto Callaspo: 5-for-12 with one double and two walks
- A.J. Ellis: 0-for-3
- Enrique Hernandez: 1-for-3
- Zack Greinke: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Justin Turner: 1-for-1
The Cubs get the pleasure of facing Zack Greinke in his favorite ballpark. Greinke is in the middle of his free agent push and has been very, very good for Don Mattingly this season. Greinke is coming off seven shutout innings against the Rangers. Greinke allowed just four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Over his last four starts, Greinke is 0-1 with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Greinke has been even better on the road than at Dodger Stadium. Greinke is 3-1 in five starts outside of Los Angeles with a 1.77 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. At least teams will be able to get an idea of how could pitch in their park.
Zack Greinke is 4-2 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Greinke faced the Cubs once last year at Wrigley and lasted five innings while giving up four runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
For his career, Zack Greinke is 0-2 in three starts at Wrigley Field with an 11.57 ERA and a 2.14 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Zack Greinke
- Miguel Montero: 7-for-26 with one double, two home runs and three walks
- Starlin Castro: 5-for-16 with two doubles and three walks
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-18
- Jonathan Herrera: 3-for-11 with one double
- Chris Coghlan: 3-for-7 with one double
- Chris Denorfia: 2-for-7
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-4 with one double
- Jason Hammel: 1-for-2 with one home run
- David Ross: 1-for-2 with one double
- Mike Baxter: 1-for-1 with one double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …