Game One Hundred Two – Cubs 4, Brewers 1
WP – Jason Hammel (6-5) LP – Taylor Jungmann (5-3) Save – Hector Rondon (15)
Jason Hammel kept the Brewers off balance and allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings. Starlin Castro drove in the first two runs, Addison Russell added a run scoring single with two outs in the sixth and Anthony Rizzo went yard for the third straight game as the Cubs downed the Brewers on Friday night.
Jason Hammel had his best outing in close to a month. Hammel did not appear hampered by the left hamstring injury he has been nursing since July 8. Hammel threw strikes and worked extremely well with Kyle Schwarber. The Cubs’ battery appeared to be on the same page. Hammel did an excellent job of mixing his pitches and had good command of his fastball.
The Cubs defense made several plays behind Hammel that helped keep him out of trouble. And he made only one mistake in almost six innings of work. Hammel did not issue a free pass until the sixth inning when he walked the last two batters he faced.
Jason Hammel allowed one run, a solo homer by Ryan Braun in the first inning, on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Hammel made 103 pitches, 66 for strikes.
Justin Grimm, Jason Motte, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon allowed just two baserunners over the last 3 1/3 innings.
Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with two RBI) had one of his best games of the season. Castro appeared relaxed at the plate and in the field. Castro tied the game in the second inning with a single to left that allowed Kris Bryant (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) to score. Castro plated Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored) with the go ahead run in the fourth inning on a 4-6 fielder’s choice.
Addison Russell (2-for-4 with a RBI) delivered a two-out single to center in the sixth that drove in Jorge Soler (2-for-4 with a run scored) and made it a 3-1 game.
The Cubs scored four runs on nine hits and two walks. The Cubs were 3-for-12 with RISP and left eight men on base.
The Cubs finished July with a 15-12 record … the fourth straight month with at least a .500 record this season (June: 14-13, May 14-14, April: 12-8).
With Friday’s win, the Cubs improved to 55-47 on the season.
After the Cubs went down in order to start the game, Jason Hammel struck out Scooter Gennett looking at a 3-2 pitch and Jonathan Lucroy grounded out to third. Ryan Braun drove a 3-2 pitch over the wall in right center and gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Adam Lind grounded out to short for the third out. Hammel made 26 pitches, 16 for strikes, in the first inning.
The Brewers had a 1-0 lead after one inning.
Kris Bryant worked a one-out walk in the second inning. Jorge Soler singled to center and put runners on first and second with one out.
Starlin Castro pulled a 0-2 pitch into left. Bryant scored and tied the game at one. Jason Hammel sacrificed Soler and Castro to second and third. Addison Russell just got under a 1-0 pitch and flied out to deep left center to end the inning.
Jason Hammel gave up a leadoff single to Khris Davis in the second. Shane Peterson struck out swinging. Jean Segura grounded a 1-2 pitch toward first, Rizzo fielded the ball and threw to second to force Davis. Hammel induced a grounder to short off the bat of Elian Herrera to end the inning.
The game was tied at one after two innings.
With the game still tied at one, Anthony Rizzo led off the fourth with a bloop single to left center. The first pitch to Bryant got away from Lucroy and Rizzo hustled to second. Bryant was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch. Jorge Soler singled center (first pitch). Rizzo had to make sure the ball went through and could only make it to third base. Castro stepped in with runners on the corners and one out.
Starlin Castro bounced a 1-2 pitch over the mound. Rizzo broke on contact and scored as Soler was forced at second base … 2-1 Cubs. Hammel was caught looking to end the inning. It took Jungmann 70 pitches, 45 for strikes, to complete four innings Friday night.
And Hammel worked around a two out single by Shane Peterson in the fourth. Hammel needed 68 pitches, 45 for strikes, to complete four innings.
The Cubs led 2-1 after four innings.
Jorge Soler was first up in the sixth. Soler hit a routine grounder to third. Herrera fielded the ball without any problems but airmailed his throw to first. The ball ended up in the dugout and Soler trotted to second base. Starlin Castro smoked a 0-2 pitch to the right side. Scooter Gennett made a diving catch for the first out. Soler made it back to the bag and was not doubled off. Hammel struck out swinging.
Addison Russell singled to center on a 3-2 pitch. Soler scored, 3-1 Cubs. Craig Counsell lifted Taylor Jungmann at that point and called for lefty Neal Cotts. Russell stole second but Dexter Fowler struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Jason Hammel retired Braun (swinging strikeout) and Lind (lineout to center) for the first two outs in the sixth. Hammel issued back-to-back, two-out walks to Khris Davis and Shane Peterson. Joe Maddon decided that was enough for Hammel and brought in Justin Grimm to face Segura. Grimm struck out the Brewers’ shortstop to end the inning.
After six innings, it was 3-1 Cubs.
With three lefties due up to start the seventh, Counsell left Cotts in the game. Schwarber struck out swinging and Coghlan grounded out to second base.
Anthony Rizzo pulled a 1-1 pitch to deep right. And Rizzo’s third home run in as many days gave the Cubs a 4-1 lead. Bryant flied out to right to end the Cubs’ seventh.
Jason Motte issued a leadoff walk to Herrera in the seventh. Motte uncorked a wild pitch on a 0-1 offering to pinch-hitter Logan Schaffer. Motte refocused and retired the next three batters (Schaffer, Gennett and Lucroy) to end the seventh.
The Cubs had a three run lead after seven innings.
With the Cubs up 4-1, Pedro Strop retired the middle of the Brewers lineup (Braun, Lind and Davis) in order in the eighth. And Hector Rondon surrendered a single to Shane Peterson to start the ninth, but that was all. Rondon closed out the game by sitting down three of the four batters he faced on 10 pitches, seven for strikes.
Kyle Hendricks takes the hill on Saturday night (6:10pm CDT) against Matt Garza.