Game Fifty-Nine: Cubs (32-26) vs. Reds (27-32)
- Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV Ch. 9 – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.76/0.89/2.95) vs. Johnny Cueto (4-4, 2.64/0.95/3.19)
Weather permitting … Joe Maddon gives the ball to Jason Hammel this afternoon with the Cubs looking to improve to a season-high seven games over .500. Maddon has talked about the Cubs being able to take things to the next level. The Cubs equaled the high watermark of six games over .500 with Thursday’s win and if they are going to keep pace with the Cardinals it is imperative to put the .500 mark well in the rearview mirror.
The Cubs enter play today six games back of the Cardinals, in sole possession of second place in the NL Central.
The offense will have to capitalize on every opportunity they have today against Johnny Cueto. Despite rumors that Cueto is hurt more than the Reds are letting on, he is still one of the top pitchers in the National League and one that has had a lot of success against the Cubs.
Joe Maddon should run out as many right handed bats as he can today. Right handers are hitting .234/.258/.383 against Johnny Cueto this season while lefties have managed only a .186/.242/.281 line against him.
This afternoon all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel is coming off another excellent outing and is matched up against the other team’s number one starter once again this season. Hammel started the ninth inning last Saturday at Nationals Park and was eyeing a complete game victory. Bryce Harper took him deep and he watched Pedro Strop close it out from the dugout. Hammel allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in eight-plus innings.
Over his last two starts, Hammel is 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. Hammel has given up three runs on 10 hits with two walks and 18 strikeouts in his last 14 2/3 innings.
Jason Hammel makes his fifth start of the year at Wrigley this afternoon. Hammel is 1-0 in the first four with a 2.54 ERA and 0.85 WHIP (eight runs on 21 hits, three walks, 22 strikeouts, 28 1/3 innings). And Hammel will face the Big Red Machine for the first time this season.
In five appearances, four starts, over his career against the Reds, Hammel is 0-1 with a 5.22 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Hammel has four career saves on his resume and one came against the Reds. Hammel missed Joey Votto and company a year ago and has not faced the team from Cincinnati since the 2011 season. Hammel picked up his save against the Reds that season and had no decision in the two games he appeared in (seven runs, six hits, two walks, six strikeouts, eight innings). Jason Hammel earned the save after tossing four innings of one run ball on Sept. 11, 2011 with no walks and four strikeouts.
Reds Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Joey Votto: 2-for-12 with one double, one home run and two walks
- Brandon Phillips: 4-for-11 with one double
- Jay Bruce: 2-for-7 with one home run
- Brennan Boesch: 1-for-4 with one walk
- Skip Schumaker: 1-for-3 with one walk
- Todd Frazier: 0-for-3
- Brayan Pena: 0-for-2
A report from Buster Olney pointed to executives around the league thinking Johnny Cueto is hurt worse than the Reds are admitting. But if he is hurt, the injury has not shown up in his last two outings.
After missing the last two weeks in May with inflammation in his right elbow, Cueto lasted six innings against the Phillies and allowed two runs on five hits. His last time out, Cueto shutdown the Padres for seven innings and allowed just four hits.
Johnny Cueto is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 0.69 ERA and 0.85 WHIP … and on the road this season, Cueto is 2-3 in six starts with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
The Cubs missed Cueto earlier in the season. And the Reds’ right hander, like most of his teammates, has had his way with the Cubs over his career. Johnny Cueto is 9-8 in 22 starts against the Cubs with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Last season, Cueto was 1-2 in three starts versus the Cubs with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP … and over the course of his career at Wrigley, Cueto is 5-5 in 13 starts with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Johnny Cueto
- Starlin Castro: 9-for-36 with one double, one triple and three walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-18 with one double and one home run
- Chris Coghlan: 4-for-14 with one double, one home run and one walk
- Miguel Montero: 2-for-16 with one walk
- Dexter Fowler: 3-for-9 with one walk
- Chris Denorfia: 1-for-7
- David Ross: 1-for-4 with one walk
- Travis Wood: 1-for-4
- Jonathan Herrera: 0-for-3
- Mike Baxter: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …