Game One Hundred Seven: Cubs (58-48) vs. Giants (59-48)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel (6-5, 3.13/1.04/3.27) vs. Chris Heston (11-5, 3.24/1.18/3.22)
The Cubs begin a seven-game homestand tonight with the first of four with the Giants. The homestand wraps next Thursday with the last of three against the Brewers. Today also starts a very important stretch of 17 games in 19 days within the city limits. The Cubs only games outside of Wrigley until Aug. 24 is three games next weekend on the South Side (Aug. 14-16). The Cubs must play better at home in order to stay in order to stay in the playoff race. The Cubs are 31-24 on the road after the 5-1 trip and 27-24 at Wrigley … and Joe Maddon’s team has a challenging four days ahead of them.
The Cubs were 2-4 in the six games with the Giants last year and due to the schedule makers, the Cubs and Giants square off for the first time this season on Aug. 6. The Cubs enter play tonight a half-game behind the defending World Series Champs for the second NL Wild Card and have seven games with the Giants over the next three-plus weeks. The Cubs make their annual trip to San Francisco later this month (Aug. 25-27).
Joe Maddon has lined up his rotation for the series. Even with Jon Lester pitching on four days rest, the Cubs have Lester and Jake Arrieta taking the ball over the next four days. The Cubs have a chance to pass and create a little space in the race with the Giants.
Jason Hammel takes the hill tonight against Mr. No-Hitter, Chris Heston. Jon Lester moved up a day due to Monday’s rainout in Pittsburgh and will square off against former Reds’ right hander Mike Leake on Friday afternoon. Kyle Hendricks opposes Matt Cain on Saturday and the series concludes Sunday with two Jakes, Jake Arrieta and Jake Peavy.
The starting staff must keep Buster Posey and Giants in check while the offense figures out three pitchers that have had a lot of success against the organization in recent years, and Chris Heston.
Hopefully the Giants have forgotten about what happened in the Cactus League and no one on the Cubs’ roster pays for the mistake Corey Black made.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel bounced back from a stretch of poor outings with a good start in Milwaukee his last time out. Hammel struggled against the Reds in Phillies in his first two starts after the break while dealing with the left hamstring injury. Hammel kept the ball down against the Brewers and the result was much-more Hammel-like than he had in a month.
Including the two rough starts, Hammel is 1-2 in his last five games with a 4.03 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. And he is 1-2 in nine starts at Wrigley this year with a 3.08 ERA and 0.99 WHIP.
Jason Hammel faced the Giants one time a year ago and is 0-3 in 10 career games, nine starts, versus San Francisco with a 3.07 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Hammel’s first start with the A’s after the trade last July came against the Giants at AT & T Park. Hammel took the loss in a 5-2 final score after allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings.
Giants Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Hunter Pence: 5-for-17 with one double, one home run and one walk
- Buster Posey: 2-for-11 with one walk
- Angel Pagan: 3-for-9
- Brandon Crawford: 0-for-4 with one walk
- Brandon Belt: 0-for-3 with one walk
- Gregory Blanco: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Justin Maxwell: 0-for-1
Chris Heston is coming off a rough start in Texas. Heston gave up three runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Prior to the Rangers’ game, Heston put together a very good string dating back to his no-hitter against the Mets on June 9.
Over his last three starts, Heston is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. In 10 road starts, Heston is 6-1 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.
The Cubs get their first look at Chris Heston in a regular season game. Dan Haren (1-for-2) is the only player on Joe Maddon’s active roster that has faced Heston in Major League game that counts.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …