Game Sixty-Four: Cubs (35-28) vs. Indians (30-34)
- Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 178, 844
- Location – Progressive Field, Cleveland
Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.81/0.96/3.17) vs. Danny Salazar (6-2, 3.54/1.15/3.42)
Weather permitting … The Cubs turn to Jason Hammel today in the finale of the current series with the Indians. Both have been shutout at home in the first two games and it will be up to Hammel to keep Cleveland off the board while his teammates figure out Danny Salazar. The Cubs and Indians still have another game this season, but not until August at Wrigley (Aug. 24, 1:05pm CDT) so tonight will be discussed as the rubber game of the series.
The Cubs are 3-3 in the first six games of Interleague play.
Joe Maddon should run out a balanced lineup against right hander Danny Salazar. Lefties (.212/.282/.331) have not had nearly the amount of success as righties (.261/.309/.416) have had this season against Salazar. Miguel Montero is questionable for tonight’s game. With the extra bat in the lineup in Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs might benefit down the road to give Montero another day now and put David Ross in the lineup behind the plate. Schwarber is not expected to start at catcher if Montero is not able to play at any point this week. Schwarber is reportedly being viewed as a back-up to the back-up catcher right now.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
The last time out was not good for Jason Hammel. The veteran right hander had a rare bad start and really struggled for the first time this season. Hammel lasted just five innings against the Reds and gave up four runs, two earned, on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Hammel equaled a season-high in walks and surrendered seven hits for the second time this year. Hammel gave up eight hits on April 11, his first outing of the season in Denver.
The Cubs need a long, effective outing from Hammel tonight. The Cubs’ pen received a break Wednesday but without another scheduled day off until June 29, the longer Hammel goes today will only benefit the Cubs in the short and long term.
Jason Hammel is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 2.29 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP (17 hits, five walks, 22 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings) and is 1-0 in five road starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. And he takes on the Indians for the ninth time in his career tonight.
Jason Hammel has never beaten Cleveland. He is 0-3 in eight games, four starts, with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Hammel has not faced the Indians since June 26, 2013. Hammel received a no decision after allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. Hammel is 0-2 in five games, two starts, at Progressive Field with a 7.02 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP.
Indians Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Michael Bourn: 4-for-17 with two doubles and one walk
- Mike Aviles: 2-for-7 with one walk
- Brandon Moss: 3-for-7 with one double
- Ryan Raburn: 2-for-6 with one double and one walk
- Michael Brantley: 0-for-3
- Yan Gomes: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Jason Kipnis: 1-for-3
- David Murphy: 1-for-3 with one double
- Carlos Santana: 0-for-2 with one walk
Danny Salazar is coming off back-to-back solid outings against the Orioles and Tigers. Salazar took the loss in Detroit after allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings. Salazar is 1-1 in his last two starts with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. In his last 14 innings, 16 strikeouts and only two walks.
At home this year, Salazar is 3-0 in four starts with a 3.16 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. Salazar has recorded 34 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings while issuing just four walks.
The Cubs get their first look at Danny Salazar tonight. Dexter Fowler (1-for-4 with two walks) is the only player on Joe Maddon’s roster that has faced Salazar in a regular season Major League game.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …