Game Fifty-Nine: Cubs (41-17) vs. Braves (17-42)
- Game Time – 6:35pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Turner Field, Atlanta
Jason Hammel, RHP (7-1, 2.14/1.07/3.41) vs. Bud Norris, RHP (1-7, 5.28/1.60/5.08)
The Cubs resume play tonight and open a three-game series in Atlanta with the Braves.
This is the Cubs final series at Turner Field. The Braves are set to open their new stadium, SunTrust Park, next season. The Cubs are 28-42 all-time at Turner Field but one of the franchise’s biggest victories in the last 20 years came at The Ted.
Jason Heyward returns to Atlanta, and will play his last games at Turner Field. Heyward made his memorable big league debut at Turner Field against the Cubs. So it’s only fitting that his final three games will be as a Cub against the Braves. Heyward has played 354 games at Turner Field and owns a .259/.347/.417 career line with 67 doubles, eight triples and 38 home runs for a .763 OPS.
David Ross played for the Braves from 2009-12 and will likely check things off his baseball bucket list this weekend. And receive a very nice tribute from the Braves.
The Cubs split the rain-shortened two-game series with the Braves at the end of April at Wrigley (April 29-May 1). The Cubs and Braves will make up the game from April 30 on July 7.
Jason Hammel gets the ball tonight as the Cubs continue the nine-game, three-city road trip. Joe Maddon will have a familiar face in the dugout for the first time this season. Chris Coghlan is back with the Cubs after the trade with Oakland on Thursday. Tommy La Stella will be placed on the DL prior to the opener.
After tonight’s matchup of veteran right-handers Jason Hammel and Bud Norris, Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Matt Wisler on Saturday afternoon (3:10pm CDT). The series concludes Sunday (12:35pm CDT) with Jon Lester on the hill. The Braves have not announced their starter yet.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel pitched through the rain last Saturday at Wrigley, made one mistake and picked up a win after tossing seven innings against the Diamondbacks. Hammel allowed two runs on one hit and two walks in a 5-3 Cubs win. Hammel issued a two-out walk to Paul Goldschmidt then left one out over the plate to Jake Lamb that ended up over the ivy in right. Hammel settled in and answered a lot of questions.
Hammel did not show any residual effects from the cramping in his right hamstring that forced him to leave his start against the Dodgers after two innings.
Jason Hammel is 4-1 in six road starts this season with a 2.23 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. And he faces the Braves for the first time on this season tonight.
Hammel is 2-4 in nine career starts against the Braves with a 5.89 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. Hammel owns a 1-3 record in five career starts at Turner Field with a 5.74 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
Braves Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Nick Markakis: 9-for-19 with one home run
- Freddie Freeman: 5-for-8 with two home runs
- A.J. Pierzynski: 3-for-10 with one home run
- Jeff Francoeur: 4-for-9 with one double
- Tyler Flowers: 0-for-5
- Ender Inciarte: 2-for-4
- Adonis Garcia: 1-for-3 with one double
The Cubs get to face right-hander Bud Norris in tonight’s opener. When Norris was with the Astros, he owned the Cubs. Norris has struggled this season with the Braves, moving back and forth between the pen and rotation. Norris is coming off a five-inning stint against the Dodgers in which he allowed one run on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
Norris is 1-7 in 18 games, six starts, for the Braves this season with a 5.28 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. And he is 0-4 in nine games, two starts, at Turner Field with a 4.82 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.
Bud Norris is 4-5 in 11 games, 10 starts, in his career against the Cubs with a 3.65 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Bud Norris
- Ben Zobrist: 2-for-16 with one home run and three walks
- Dexter Fowler: 4-for-6 with one double and six walks
- Miguel Montero: 5-for-11 with one double and two walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-10 with two walks
- Jason Heyward: 3-for-7 with one double, one home run and one walk
- David Ross: 3-for-9 with one double and one home run
- Javier Baez: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …