Game Ninety-One: Cubs (55-35) vs. Rangers (54-38)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ABC-7, TBS – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 81, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
John Lackey, RHP (7-5, 3.70/1.10/3.79) vs. Cole Hamels, LHP (9-2, 3.21/1.33/4.56)
Weather permitting … After taking the first two games of the series, the Cubs give the ball to John Lackey this afternoon focused on completing a three-game sweep of the Rangers.
The Cubs have played good ball the last two days and it will take more of the same this afternoon with Cole Hamels on the mound. The Cubs beat a really good pitcher in Yu Darvish with timely hitting, excellent pitching and mistake-free defense. Joe Maddon’s team will have to use the same formula today.
It will be up to John Lackey to keep the Rangers in check and off the board while the offense figures out Cole Hamels. The veteran lefty has owned the Cubs over the years. And the last time he pitched a game at Wrigley, he no-hit the Cubs and beat Jake Arrieta. Hamels pitching at Wrigley in late-July will always give lifelong Cubs’ fans the chills. There will be a lot of rejoicing when the Cubs get their first hit off Hamels this afternoon.
The Cubs have not fared well against veteran starters like Hamels. Today will be another test for Maddon’s team with one of the top pitchers in the game on the mound.
Today all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey, like three of his other four rotation mates, is coming off a rough stretch. And the Cubs could really use a good game from Lackey today. Lackey has allowed at least five earned runs in three of his last four starts.
Lackey received a no decision his last time out. The Cubs beat the Pirates and snapped their skid. Lackey pitched six innings and allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. Lackey is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 7.50 ERA and 1.67 WHIP.
The Cubs are 2-4 in Lackey’s last six starts and he’s 4-3 in eight starts at Wrigley this season with a 2.60 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.
John Lackey makes the 41st start of his career against the Rangers this afternoon. Lackey is 14-15 in 40 starts versus the Rangers with a 5.71 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.
Rangers Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Adrian Beltre: 14-for-67 with one double, three home runs and three walks
- Elvis Andrus: 7-for-34 with one double, one triple and one walk
- Shin-Soo Choo: 8-for-21 with one double, one triple, one home run and two walks
- Prince Fielder: 6-for-18 with two doubles
- Mitch Moreland: 4-for-15 with two doubles and one walk
- Ian Desmond: 1-for-6
- Cole Hamels: 2-for-4
- Rougned Odor: 0-for-3
- Jurickson Profar: 1-for-2
- Bobby Wilson: no official at-bat, one walk
Cole Hamels owned the Cubs during his time with the Phillies. And the last time he faced the Cubs at Wrigley Field, he ended The Streak. Hamels no-hit the Cubs and became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against the franchise in almost 50 years.
Hamels is coming off two rough starts, and oddly enough, both were against the Twins. Hamels is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 10.80 ERA and 2.88 WHIP. The Twins scored 10 runs on 15 hits with nine walks and Hamels struck out only seven batters in 8 1/3 innings.
In the six starts prior to facing the Twins, Hamels was 4-0 with a 1.51 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
Cole Hamels has been lights out on the road this season. Hamels is 6-1 in nine starts with a 2.09 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Hamels is 4-1 in eight career starts against the Cubs with a 2.00 ERA and 0.91 WHIP … and at Wrigley Field, Hamels is 2-1 in five starts with a 2.18 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Cole Hamels
- Jason Heyward: 7-for-32 with four doubles and six walks
- David Ross: 1-for-14 with two walks
- Tommy La Stella: 2-for-9 with one double
- Miguel Montero: 0-for-7 with two walks
- Ben Zobrist: 1-for-5 with one walk
- Kris Bryant: 0-for-4
- John Lackey: 0-for-3
- Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-3
- Addison Russell: 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …