Game One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Cubs (79-57) vs. Cardinals (87-50)
- Game Time – 7:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Jason Hammel (7-6, 3.55/1.12/3.65) vs. Michael Wacha (15-4, 2.69/1.13/3.27)
Weather permitting … The Cubs turn to Jason Hammel tonight in game two with the Cardinals. Joe Maddon could really use the ‘Hammer’ from the first half and for him to pick up where Dan Haren left off on Labor Day.
Jason Hammel faces a huge challenge in the Cardinals. With the Redbirds coming off back-to-back losses, it is imperative for the Cubs to get off to a good start tonight. Giving the Cardinals any help early could lead to a quick hook for Hammel. Maddon has a pretty rested pen with the starts from Jake Arrieta and Dan Haren in two of the last three days. Plus, he has an 11-man pen right now. Maddon and the Cubs are playing for more than the second NL Wild Card.
Joe Maddon should really resist the urge to load his lineup with lefties. Michael Wacha has limited left-handed hitters to a .212/.279/.287 slash line while right handers have batted .245/.284/.340 against him this season.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel takes the ball tonight looking to put his last outing behind him. After showing progress in consecutive starts against the Braves and Dodgers, Hammel struggled against the Reds. Hammel allowed four runs on seven hits without a walk and four strikeouts in five innings. Hammel pitched at Wrigley on a very difficult day, but he was up in the zone again and did not command his fastball the way he must in order to be successful.
The post-break issues have continued for Hammel. In his last nine starts, Hammel is 2-2 with a 5.19 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. For all the talk about Jake Arrieta or Jon Lester starting a one-game playoff, if the Cubs make the post-season having a healthy and productive Hammel will play a big role in the Cubs advancing in the tournament.
Jason Hammel makes his third start of the year against the Cardinals. Both of his outings against St. Louis have been cut short. Hammel’s first start in St. Louis was interrupted by rain and eventually ended after just four innings. And he made it only an inning against the Redbirds on July 8 at Wrigley before he left with tightness in his left hamstring. Hammel is 0-1 in two games against the Cardinals with a 7.20 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. For his career, Hammel is 1-3 in six starts with a 6.31 ERA and 1.52 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Jhonny Peralta: 9-for-23 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks
- Jason Heyward: 9-for-16 with one double
- Mark Reynolds: 2-for-14 with one walk
- Yadier Molina: 5-for-11 with three doubles
- Matt Carpenter: 2-for-9 with one double
- Brandon Moss: 3-for-9 with one double
- Randal Grichuk: 1-for-5 with one triple
- Jon Jay: 1-for-4 with one walk
- Kolten Wong: 1-for-3
- Peter Bourjos: 0-for-1 with one walk
- Michael Wacha: 1-for-2
- Tommy Pham: 0-for-1
The Cubs get their third shot of the season at Michael Wacha tonight. Wacha is coming off a rare game in which he started and the Cardinals lost. Wacha lasted six innings in San Francisco on Aug. 28 and gave up four unearned runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Wacha was skipped the last time through in order to limit his innings.
Over his last five starts, Michael Wacha is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 1.25 WHIP … and at Busch Stadium this year, Wacha is 6-2 in 11 starts with a 2.43 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
Against the Cubs this season, Wacha is 1-0 in two starts with a 4.50 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. And for his career, Wacha is 3-1 in seven games, six starts, against the Cubs with a 3.62 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Michael Wacha
- Anthony Rizzo: 7-for-17 with one home run and one walk
- Starlin Castro: 8-for-17 with two doubles and one home run
- Miguel Montero: 2-for-13 with one double and one walk
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-6 with one triple
- Chris Coghlan: 1-for-6 with one double
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-5 with one walk
- Addison Russell: 0-for-4
- Jason Hammel: 0-for-2
- Jonathan Herrera: 1-for-2
- David Ross: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …