Game Forty-Nine: Cubs (26-22) vs. Marlins (20-31)
- Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – Marlins Park, Miami
Jason Hammel (3-2, 2.98/0.91/2.98) vs. Jose Urena (0-1, 9.39/1.98/6.11)
The Cubs begin a nine-game, three-city road trip tonight with the first of three against the Marlins. The Cubs will be on the road for the next 10 days with stops in Miami (June 1-3), Washington (June 4-7) and Detroit (June 9-10). And when Joe Maddon and company return to Wrigley for the start of a six-game homestand on June 11 the right field bleachers are expected to be open and ready for occupancy.
The Marlins have really struggled this season but are still a very dangerous team. Mike Redmond was relieved of his managerial duties and replaced in the dugout by the team’s GM, Dan Jennings. There is a lot of talent on the Marlins’ roster that has underachieved this season. The Cubs won four of the six games (4-2) with Miami last year and must not take this team lightly, that and pitch to Giancarlo Stanton. There is no reason whatsoever for Stanton to see a pitch in the strike zone for the next three days. ‘Keep Dee Gordon off the bases and don’t allow Stanton to see a strike’ should be the Cubs motto and plastered all over the clubhouse for the entire series. Even if men are on base, it would be better just to walk Stanton and force someone else to come up with a hit to drive in runs.
Jason Hammel takes the hill tonight against rookie right-hander Jose Urena. Hammel should be well-rested and hopefully the two extra days gave his cracked fingernail time to heal. The Cubs must make Urena work in what is his first appearance at Marlins Park.
Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to face left hander Brad Hand on Tuesday night. And Jon Lester is expected to square off against veteran right hander Dan Haren in Wednesday’s finale.
The Cubs have played .500 ball outside of Wrigley Field this season, but the next three games are ones teams that consider themselves contenders must win … especially with stops in Washington and Detroit on the current itinerary.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel was scheduled to pitch Saturday and was pushed back a day. But rain and the postponement of Saturday’s game gave Hammel two days for a cracked nail on his pitching hand to heal. Joe Maddon could really use a long, effective outing from Hammel to keep out of the pen on the first day of a rather difficult road trip.
Hammel is coming off a loss, eight days ago in Arizona. Hammel settled down after a rough start, plus he quit pitching to Paul Goldschmidt. Hammel surrendered four runs on five hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in seven innings. Hammel has put his team in position to win each of the last two times he took the hill, but the Cubs are 0-2 in his last two starts.
Hammel posted a 1-1 record in five May starts. Hammel allowed 12 runs, 10 earned, on 23 hits with six walks and 35 strikeouts in 35 innings (2.57 ERA, 0.83 WHIP). For the year, Hammel has allowed 48 hits with seven walks and 58 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings.
On the road this season, Hammel is 2-2 in five starts with a 3.38 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. And he makes his ninth career appearance against the Marlins tonight.
Jason Hammel is 1-3 in eight games, six starts, versus the Marlins with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP … at Marlins Park, Hammel received a no decision in his only start. Hammel allowed four runs on eight hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in six innings last June 16. Hammel faced the Fish twice a year ago and received two no decisions after allowing a combined four runs on 14 hits with two walks and 17 strikeouts in 13 innings. Hammel pitched seven innings of shutout ball against the Marlins at Wrigley on June 6.
Marlins Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Ichiro Suzuki: 10-for-26 with two doubles and two walks
- Martin Prado: 6-for-16 with one home run and one walk
- Giancarlo Stanton: 5-for-12 with one double and one home run
- Jeff Baker: 2-for-6 with one double and one triple
- Adeiny Hechavarria: 1-for-5
- Marcell Ozuna: 2-for-6 with one triple
- Dee Gordon: 0-for-3
- Christian Yelich: 1-for-3 with one double
- Justin Bour: 0-for-1
The Cubs get their first look at Jose Urena in what will be his second big league start. Urena was hit pretty hard his last time out, which was his first start in the majors. Urena lasted 4 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on 10 hits to the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Tonight will be the first time Urena has taken the mound at Marlins Park. All three of his big league outings have been on the road.
In three games, one start, Urena has given up 14 hits with one walk in 7 2/3 innings against the Braves, Mets and Pirates.
Jose Urena is one of the top prospects in Miami’s system. The 23-year old has a huge arm with great stuff. Urena’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and he can run it up to 96 when he needs to while locating his plus changeup in the upper-80s for strikes.
Urena put up very good numbers for Double-A Jacksonville last year. Urena was 13-8 in 26 games, 25 starts, with a 3.33 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He struck out 121 batters with 29 walks in 162 innings.
Kris Bryant was 1-for-4 in the game started by Urena last June 5. Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a double and a walk) and Jorge Soler (0-for-3 with a sac fly RBI) played in the game against Urena on July 14 and Addison Russell was 0-for-4 on Aug. 22 in Urena’s third appearance of the season against Double-A Tennessee.
No one on the Cubs active roster has faced Jose Urena in a regular season big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …