Game Ninety-Five: Cubs (57-37) vs. Brewers (40-53)
- Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 187, 844
- Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Jason Hammel, RHP (8-5, 3.34/1.10/4.33) vs. Jimmy Nelson, RHP (6-7, 3.39/1.36/4.61)
The Cubs get back to work tonight following Thursday’s off-day and open a three-game series at Miller Park. The Cubs square off against the Brewers for the next three days. The Cubs struggled with the Brewers earlier in the season and must take care of business this weekend at Wrigley Field North.
The Cubs are 3-2 in the first five games of the season series with the Brewers. The Cubs won both games of the rain-shortened series at Wrigley in late April but dropped the series at Miller Park in the third week of May. With the Cardinals gaining ground, Meat Loaf for the ride back to Chicago on Sunday is a must for the Cubs.
The offense will have its hands full the next three days. The Cubs have struggled against the Brewers pitching staff. This could be another series that shows how much the Cubs actually miss Kyle Schwarber’s bat in the lineup.
After tonight’s matchup of Jason Hammel and Jimmy Nelson, John Lackey faces right-hander Zach Davies on Saturday night (6:10pm CDT). The series wraps on Sunday afternoon (1:10pm CDT) with Jon Lester taking on righty Junior Guerra.
The Cubs will get a boost with the return of Dexter Fowler. And look for Joe Maddon to run out a balanced lineup tonight. Right-handers have hit .271/.344/.362 with a .707 OPS against Jimmy Nelson this season while left-handers have a .749 OPS and a .228/.336/.413 slash line.
Hopefully the Cubs remembered the potato chips.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel quieted his critics six days ago with the excellent outing against the Rangers. Hammel outpitched Yu Darvish for six innings. Hammel had excellent command and worked well with Miguel Montero. Hammel allowed one run on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. And the Cubs won 3-1.
The Cubs could use a repeat performance from Hammel tonight.
Over his last three starts, Hammel is 1-1 with a 7.80 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. And outside of Wrigley Field this season, Hammel is 4-4 in 10 starts with a 1.14 WHIP.
Hammel takes on the Brewers for the second time this season. Hammel lost to Milwaukee for the first time in his career earlier this year. Hammel gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in six innings at Miller Park back on May 19. Hammel struck out six but really struggled with his command. For his career, Hammel is 8-1 in 12 starts against the Brewers with a 2.66 ERA and 1.12 WHIP … at Miller Park, Hammel is 5-1 with a 2.18 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.
Brewers Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Ryan Braun: 8-for-23 with one double, two home runs and three walks
- Scooter Gennett: 6-for-19 with one double and one walk
- Jonathan Lucroy: 4-for-15 with one walk
- Chris Carter: 2-for-9 with one double and one home run
- Martin Maldonado: 0-for-8 with one walk
- Hernan Perez: 1-for-6 with one walk
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 2-for-6 with one home run
- Will Middlebrooks: 1-for-4 with one home run
- Jimmy Nelson: 1-for-4 with one double
- Ramon Flores: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Jonathan Villar: 0-for-3
Jimmy Nelson is in the middle of a good stretch of starts. Nelson has excellent stuff but has struggled with consistency over the course of his brief big league career. Nelson posted back-to-back quality starts against the Cardinals and shut out the Reds for seven innings his last time out.
After posting an 0-3 record in five starts with a 5.87 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in June, Nelson is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 2.37 ERA and 1.47 WHIP (20 hits, eight walks, 13 strikeouts in 19 innings).
The Cubs will have plenty of chances to score runs if the offense makes Nelson work.
Jimmy Nelson is 4-3 in 10 starts at Miller Park this season with a 2.45 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. And he faces the Cubs for the third time on the season.
Nelson is 0-1 in two starts versus the Cubs with a 0.71 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Nelson has not beaten the Cubs over the course of his career (0-4 in nine games, seven starts) but he always pitches very well against the Brewers’ division rival. In 47 2/3 innings, the Cubs have 36 hits and 18 walks but only 18 runs due to the 46 strikeouts. Nelson owns a 2.83 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jimmy Nelson
- Anthony Rizzo: 4-for-19 with one double, one triple and one home runs
- Kris Bryant: 3-for-13 with one double
- Addison Russell: 2-for-13
- Jason Heyward: 3-for-11 with one double
- David Ross: 0-for-4 with three walks
- Javier Baez: 3-for-6
- Jason Hammel: 1-for-5
- Miguel Montero: 2-for-4 with one double and two walks
- Ben Zobrist: 1-for-3 with three walks
- Tommy La Stella: 1-for-3 with one double and one walk
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …