National League Championship Series Game 4: Cubs (97-65, 0-3) vs. Mets (90-72, 3-0)
- Game Time – 7:07pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: TBS – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89 (Cubs), 844 (Cubs), 183 (Mets), 80 (National) and ESPN Radio
- Location – Wrigley Field
Jason Hammel (10-7, 3.74/1.16/3.68) vs. Steven Matz (4-0, 2.27/1.23/3.61)
The National League Championship Series – Game 4
Mets Lead the Series 3-0
Weather permitting … It is this simple. The Cubs win tonight or the season is over.
Jason Hammel takes the ball in Game 4 of the NLCS. And Joe Maddon could really use the return of ‘The Hammer.’ Hammel has the ability, if he is right physically, to shut the Mets down. Hammel will be on a short leash. If he struggles, Maddon will go to his pen early and often.
The Cubs have not played with a lead the entire series. Hammel keeping the Mets off the board in the first inning would be a welcomed start to Game 4. Plus, Steven Matz will not be able to pitch with a lead. The first inning is the key, once again … keep the Mighty Mets from scoring and make Matz work.
Joe Maddon went with David Ross behind the plate with the lefty Matz on the mound. Lefties have hit .250/.400/.200 against Matz over his first six starts in the big leagues while righties have managed a .250/.269/.358 line.
One pitch, one inning at a time and the Cubs doing simple better will lead to a win and a Game 5.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel started Game 4 of the NLDS and contributed as much with his bat as he did on the mound. Hammel pitched into the fourth inning and allowed two runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts in three-plus innings to the Cardinals. It was a two-out knock that put the Cubs on the board in the second inning and gave Javier Baez a chance to hit with two on in the inning that was the turning point in the game.
Jason Hammel’s injury in early July changed his season. In retrospect the Cubs should have placed him on the DL and gotten him right. There were not any other options and the Cubs were trying to win games. Hammel has not been nearly as effective as he was prior to July 8 and the short leash Maddon has kept him on has not helped. Maddon should probably work on his relationship with Hammel before pitchers and catchers report in February.
The Cubs need first-half, pre-injured Jason Hammel to take the hill tonight. Hammel’s performance in the first half is one of the reasons the Cubs are playing in the NLCS.
Jason Hammel was 3-3 in 16 games at Wrigley during the regular season with a 3.99 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. After the break, Hammel went 5-3 in 14 starts with a 5.10 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Hammel makes his second start of the year against the Mets tonight.
Jason Hammel received a no decision in his only start against the Mets this season. Hammel allowed one run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in eight innings. Hammel held the Mets in check while his teammates tried to figure out Matt Harvey. The Cubs won the game 2-1 on May 13 at Wrigley. Hammel is 0-3 in five career starts versus the Mets with a 4.91 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
Mets Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Kelly Johnson: 9-for-30 with one double, two home runs and one walk
- Curtis Granderson: 8-for-24 with two doubles, two home runs and three walks
- Daniel Murphy: 6-for-11 with two doubles and one walk
- David Wright: 1-for-7
- Michael Cuddyer: 1-for-7
- Lucas Duda: 0-for-1
- Wilmer Flores: 0-for-3
- Kevin Plawecki: 0-for-3
The Cubs get their first look at lefty Steven Matz. The rookie was very good in the big leagues this season when he wasn’t on the disabled list. Matz did not lose a game in the majors during the season but struggled against the Dodgers in the NLDS. Matz gave up three runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings.
Matz was 2-0 in four starts outside of New York in the regular season with a 2.45 ERA and 1.27 WHIP (six runs on 22 hits with six walks and 24 strikeouts in 22 innings).
The Cubs should have plenty of info on Matz to educate the players with but the more they can see from him early could help the second time through the lineup.
No one on the Cubs active roster has faced Steven Matz in a big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …