Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (17-6) vs. Pirates (15-10)
- Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, ESPN, MLB Network – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Jason Hammel (3-0, 0.75/1.04/2.47) vs. Gerrit Cole (2-2, 2.78/1.19/2.75)
Weather permitting … The Cubs kick-off a rather big first week of May with three games against the Pirates.
Clint Hurdle has his team playing excellent baseball. And the Pirates will only get better as the year progresses. Top pitching prospects Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow should be in the majors by June and Jung Ho Kang is close to coming off the DL. For now, the Pirates will look to prove just how good they are over the next three games against the Cubs.
The Cubs return to PNC Park for the first time since last October’s NL Wild Card Game. The Cubs were 6-4 in the 10 regular season games in Pittsburgh last year and 11-8 overall in the 19 games. Joe Maddon’s offense will have to step it up during this series with the three starters Hurdle is sending to the hill.
Jason Hammel has the task of opening the series against Gerrit Cole. Cole has owned the Cubs in the regular season and figures to have a large chip on his shoulder tonight after what happened last October. Following tonight’s matchup of Hammel and Cole, Jake Arrieta is facing Jon Niese on Tuesday. The Pirates will try to rattle Arrieta again and get him off his game. Jon Lester takes on Juan Nicasio in the finale early Wednesday (11:35am CDT).
The Cubs lineup should be as left-handed as possible. Left-handers have hit .286/.324/.314/.639 against Cole this season and right-handers have managed only a .229/.288/.313 line with a .601 OPS.
And David Ross better be ready to throw a lot of baseballs. When the Pirates get on the bases, Clint Hurdle will give them the green light.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel had a very good April and the Cubs are 3-1 in the four games he’s started this season. Hammel shut down the Reds his last time out eight days ago. Hammel gave up three hits with two walks and struck out seven in six innings.
In four starts this year, Hammel has allowed two runs on 16 hits with nine walks and 22 strikeouts in 24 innings.
Jason Hammel is 5-5 in 12 games, 11 career starts, versus the Pirates with a 4.03 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Hammel was 1-2 in four starts against the Bucs last season with a 4.35 ERA and 1.21 WHIP … at PNC Park, 0-1 in two starts with a 7.27 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Andrew McCutchen: 9-for-30 with two doubles, two home runs and one walk
- Matt Joyce: 3-for-15 with two walks
- Starling Marte: 4-for-16
- Jordy Mercer: 4-for-17 with one double and one home run
- Josh Harrison: 1-for-11 with one walk
- Gregory Polanco: 3-for-11 with one double, one home run and one walk
- Francisco Cervelli: 5-for-10 with one double
- Chris Stewart: 3-for-7 with one walk
- John Jaso: 1-for-6 with one double
- David Freese: 0-for-3
- Gerrit Cole: 1-for-2
Gerrit Cole is going to be out to prove a point tonight. Cole lost the Wild Card Game to the Cubs last October after pretty much owning Joe Maddon’s team in the regular season. Cole has not been Gerrit Cole yet this year but he’s been better than 75 percent of the other pitchers in baseball.
Cole had a solid outing at Coors Field his last time out. Cole was charged with four runs, two earned, on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts in six innings. Cole makes his second home start of the year tonight.
Gerrit Cole is 7-1 in nine career starts in the regular season against the Cubs with a 2.88 ERA and 1.10 WHIP … last season, the young righty was 2-1 in four starts versus the Cubs with a 2.13 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Gerrit Cole
- Anthony Rizzo: 6-for-19 with one double and two walks
- Jason Heyward: 3-for-15 with one double and four walks
- Dexter Fowler: 6-for-17 with one home run and one walk
- Kris Bryant: 3-for-11 with three walks
- Addison Russell: 2-for-9
- Tommy La Stella: 1-for-8 with one double
- Jorge Soler: 2-for-7
- Javier Baez: 1-for-6 with one home run
- Tim Federowicz: 0-for-4
- David Ross: 0-for-5
- Jason Hammel: 0-for-1
- Matt Szczur: 1-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …