Game Forty-Nine: Cubs (34-14) vs. Dodgers (27-24)
- Game Time – 4:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN-TV – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel, RHP (6-1, 2.17/1.16/3.37) vs. Alex Wood, LHP (1-3, 4.03/1.24/3.35)
Happy Memorial Day
The Cubs 10-game homestand continues this afternoon on Memorial Day as Joe Maddon’s team opens a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dave Roberts and the Dodgers spent the weekend in New York with the Mets and will benefit with the late-afternoon start time at Wrigley.
The Cubs were able to get back on-track in the win-loss column against the Phillies. Now the Cubs have to deal with the Dodgers but will not have to face Clayton Kershaw over the next four games. The Cubs have struggled against Dodgers’ teams for years and were 3-4 in the seven games with the Don Mattingly-led Dodgers last season. The Dodgers are capable of playing good baseball but have been inconsistent at best this year. The Dodgers are 10-1 in the 11 games started by Kershaw this season, 17-23 in the other 40 games.
The Cubs will face a pair of lefties in the first two games of the series. After today’s match-up of Jason Hammel and lefty Alex Wood, Jake Arrieta will square off against southpaw Scott Kazmir on Tuesday night. Jon Lester and righty Mike Bolsinger are on the schedule for Wednesday night. And the series wraps with Kyle Hendricks against right-hander Kenta Maeda on Thursday afternoon.
Joe Maddon should run out a balanced lineup today with Alex Wood on the hill. Jorge Soler is expected in the starting lineup. But Maddon should not run out an all-right handed lineup. Right-handers are hitting only .227/.276/.333 with a .609 OPS against Wood, lefties in 54 plate appearances have managed a .304/.407/.457 slash line with a .864 OPS. It’s a small sample size, but not allowing Wood to get comfortable pitching to one side of the plate could benefit the Cubs in the end.
Today all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel put together his best start of the season his last time out against the Cardinals. Hammel put the rough game in Milwaukee behind him and pitched extremely well in St. Louis. Hammel drove in two runs before he threw a pitch and just pounded the zone with quality strikes. Hammel surrendered one run on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. The Cubs thumped the Cardinals 12-3.
Over his last five starts, Hammel is 3-1 with a 3.30 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Hammel has allowed 12 runs, 11 earned, on 26 hits with 12 walks and 25 strikeouts in 30 innings. Hammel has to limit his walks moving forward. Hammel must have closer to a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio in order to succeed and the number of free passes are a little concerning.
Hammel is 2-3 in three starts at Wrigley Field this season with a 2.04 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. Today is Hammel’s 13th career start against the Dodgers.
Jason Hammel is 2-6 in 16 career appearances, 12 starts, against the Dodgers with a 4.93 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. Last season, Hammel was 0-1 in two starts with a 2.13 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. Hammel gave up three runs, all earned, on six hits with five walks and 11 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Adrian Gonzalez: 7-for-38 with two doubles, one home run and four walks
- Howie Kendrick: 7-for-16 with two doubles and one walk
- Chase Utley: 5-for-9 with one triple, one home run and two walks
- Carl Crawford: 1-for-4 with one double and one walk
- Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-5
- Kike Hernandez: 1-for-5
- Justin Turner: 1-for-3
- A.J. Ellis: 0-for-3
- Yasiel Puig: 1-for-3 with one triple
Alex Wood was on quite a roll before triceps soreness pushed him back from his scheduled start on Friday night at Citi Field to this afternoon at Wrigley. Wood corrected a couple of mechanical issues and is coming off three straight quality starts. Wood has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts.
Wood is 0-1 in his last four starts with a 3.09 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Wood has issued only four walks in his previous 23 1/3 innings. Wood has 34 strikeouts while allowing just 17 hits and 10 runs, eight earned.
Depending on his health, the Cubs could be in for a big challenge today.
Alex Wood is 0-3 in five road starts this season with a 6.84 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. And the southpaw makes his third career start against the Cubs today.
Alex Wood was on the mound last August and ended up on the right end of Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter. Wood is 1-1 in five career appearances, two starts, against the Cubs with a 3.86 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. Wood has two no-decisions in two appearances (six innings), one start, at Wrigley with a 6.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Alex Wood
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-7 with one double and two walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-7 with one walk
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-3 with one home run
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-3
- Addison Russell: 0-for-3
- Matt Szczur: 1-for-3
- Tim Federowicz: 0-for-1
- Jason Hammel: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …