Game Ninety: Cubs (54-35) vs. Rangers (54-37)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ABC-7, MLB Network – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jason Hammel, RHP (7-5, 3.46/1.13/4.55) vs. Yu Darvish, RHP (2-0, 2.87/1.14/2.73)
The Cubs turn to Jason Hammel this afternoon in the middle game of the series with the Rangers. The Cubs have a big challenge in front of them with Yu Darvish coming off the DL to make the start today. Hammel must keep the Rangers in check and off the board while his teammates figure out Darvish.
Joe Maddon is running out a right-handed heavy lineup today, which was to be expected. Lefties have a .688 OPS (.258/.333/.355) against Darvish this season while righties have managed only a .484 OPS (.154/.214/.269). For his career, left-handers have a .681 OPS (.229/.312/.369) against Darvish while right-handers have hit .197/.275/.318 with a .593 OPS.
Cubs batting order: Tommy La Stella 3B, Kris Bryant RF, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist 2B, Willson Contreras LF, Jason Heyward CF, Addison Russell SS, Miguel Montero C, Jason Hammel P
The starting eight behind Hammel could produce offensively, let’s just hope they can make enough plays behind him in the field.
Today all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel makes his first start of the second half this afternoon. Hammel’s last game was against the Braves nine days ago. Hammel lasted only five innings after he was forced to leave early with cramping in his right hand. Hammel was effective for the five innings following the rough start against the Mets.
Hammel allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts in five-plus innings. And he looks to get back on track this afternoon against the Rangers.
Hammel is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 12.00 ERA and 1.67 WHIP. Hammel has allowed 12 runs on 12 hits with six home runs and three walks. Hammel must keep the ball in the park today and not help out the Rangers with the free passes. The Cubs could really use a win today with Hammel on the hill … the Cubs are 0-6 in Hammel’s last six starts.
Jason Hammel is 3-1 in seven starts at Wrigley this season with a 2.89 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. And he faces the Rangers for the sixth time in his career today.
Hammel is 0-2 in five career games, three starts, against the Rangers with a 4.91 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Hammel was 0-1 in three games, two starts, versus Texas in 2014 after the trade to Oakland. Hammel allowed five runs, four earned, on 15 hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings (2.45 ERA, 1.16 WHIP).
Rangers Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Ian Desmond: 5-for-23
- Prince Fielder: 3-for-14 with one home run and two walks
- Adrian Beltre: 4-for-14 with one double and one walk
- Shin-Soo Choo: 3-for-9 with one double and one walk
- Elvis Andrus: 3-for-7 with one triple
- Rougned Odor: 1-for-6
- Bobby Wilson: 3-for-4 with one walk
- Robinson Chirinos: 0-for-4
- Ryan Rua: 0-for-3
Yu Darvish comes off the DL to make his first start since June 8. Darvish missed the first part of the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He made three straight starts following his debut on May 28 before going back on the DL with discomfort in his right shoulder and neck.
Before undergoing Tommy John Surgery, Yu Darvish was considered one of the true aces in the game. Darvish has not pitched enough this year to say where he is in his recovery from Tommy John.
In three starts, Darvish has allowed five runs on 12 hits with six walks and 19 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings.
Darvish’s first three starts were all in his home park. Today is his first road start of the season. And the first time he’s faced the Cubs in a regular season ballgame.
Ben Zobrist (2-for-10 with two walks) and Miguel Montero (0-for-3) are the only two players on Joe Maddon’s active roster that have faced Yu Darvish in a regular season game.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …