Game Eighty-Five: Cubs (52-32) vs. Braves (28-57)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ABC-7 – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel, RHP (7-5, 3.45/1.15/4.57) vs. Lucas Harrell, RHP (1-0, 1.50/0.67/2.00)
Weather permitting … The Cubs wrap up the four-game homestand tonight with a makeup game against the Braves. The Cubs and Braves were rained out back on April 30 and will square off against one another for the final time in 2016. The Cubs have struggled with the Braves, winning three of the first five (3-2), and face a challenge tonight with Lucas Harrell on the hill in day 21 of 24 straight without a day off.
The Cubs split the rain-shortened series with the Braves at Wrigley (April 29-May 1) and took two of three in Atlanta (June 10-12).
Jason Hammel gets the ball as he looks to silence his critics. There is already talk that Hammel has started his annual second-half slide. Tonight is a big start for Hammel and the Cubs as they look to finish the ‘first half’ of the season on a positive note.
Lucas Harrell is back in the big leagues for the first time since 2014. Harrell had a surprising first start of the season. Based on his minor league splits, Joe Maddon should load his lineup with right-handers tonight. Harrell limited lefties to a .659 OPS (.245/.335/.324) while righties had a .719 OPS and a .280/.380/.339 slash line.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Like three of his four rotation mates, Jason Hammel is coming off a bad outing. Hammel was hammered by the Metropolitans in the rain last Friday night in Queens. Hammel gave up a season-high, career-worst 10 earned runs on five home runs and two walks. Hammel was hit like Mets knew what he was throwing.
His last start is history. Hammel is not worried about a ‘second-half’ slide that has become part of the fan base’s panic and the media’s narrative.
In the five starts leading into Queens, Hammel was 1-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. Looks like a No. 4 starter on a winning team.
Jason Hammel is 3-1 in six starts at Wrigley this season with a 2.78 EERA and 1.18 WHIP. And he faces the Braves for the second and last time this year. Hammel lost to the Braves in the ATL back on June 10. Hammel allowed three runs on eight hits (two home runs). Hammel did not walk a batter and struck out four in a game the Cubs dropped 5-1. Hammel is 2-15 in 10 career starts against the Braves with a 5.77 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.
Braves Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Nick Markakis: 9-for-22 with one home run
- Freddie Freeman: 5-for-11 with two home runs and two walks
- Erick Aybar: 2-for-11
- Emilio Bonifacio: 2-for-9 with one walk
- A.J. Pierzynski: 3-for-10 with one home run
- Tyler Flowers: 1-for-8 with one home run and one walk
- Jeff Francoeur: 4-for-9 with one double
- Ender Inciarte: 2-for-6
- Adonis Garcia: 4-for-6 with one double and one home run
- Jace Peterson: 1-for-5
- Chase d’Arnaud: 0-for-3
Lucas Harrell makes his second start of the season after receiving a surprise call up. Harrell started the season in the Tigers system and was 2-1 in nine games, four starts, with a 2.81 ERA and 1.68 WHIP for Triple-A Gwinnett before the promotion.
Harrell gave up one run on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts to the Marlins in six innings.
Lucas Harrell had a lot of success against the Cubs early in his career when he was with the Astros. Harrell is 2-0 in four games, two starts, against the Cubs with a 0.57 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. And at Wrigley Field, Harrell is 2-0 in three games, two starts, with a 0.60 ERA and 0.733 WHIP.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-7 with a double), Jason Heyward (1-for-3 with one double) and Ben Zobrist (0-for-1) are the only three players on Joe Maddon’s active roster that have faced Lucas Harrell in a regular season big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …