Game One Hundred Forty-Four: Cubs (92-51) vs. Cardinals (75-68)
- Game Time – 7:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ABC-7 – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 187, 844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Jason Hammel, RHP (14-8, 3.50/1.19/4.37) vs. Jaime Garcia, LHP (10-12, 4.58/1.36/4.29)
The Cubs look to make it two in a row over the Cardinals tonight behind Jason Hammel.
The Cubs are 4-3 over the first seven games of the road trip. A win tonight would guarantee the Cubs a winning trip, a series victory over the Cardinals and set up the possibility of celebrating a division title on Wednesday. But first things first and the Cubs have to take care of Jaime Garcia and the Cardinals in the middle game of the series.
Jason Hammel has pitched well against the Cardinals this year. Hammel could really use a good outing after his last start in Milwaukee. Hammel will have to be at the top of his game against a Cardinals team that can score runs in a hurry and one that really needs to win a ballgame. Not only are the Cardinals trying to play their way into the tournament, no one in that organization wants to see the Cubs celebrate on their field and in their stadium.
Joe Maddon should run out a balanced lineup tonight. Right-handers have hit .268/.333/.442 with a .775 OPS against Garcia and left-handers have batted .267/.318/.417 with a .734 OPS. In 130 plate appearances, Garcia has given up 11 extra basehits to lefties (seven doubles, one triple, three home runs) while righties have 51 extra basehits (32 doubles, 19 home runs) in 573 plate appearances.
Tonight all starts with Jason Hammel …
Jason Hammel had what he labeled a ‘horrific outing’ in his last start. Hammel gave up five runs to the Brewers in the first inning before righting the ship until the sixth inning. Hammel served up a three-run homer to Ryan Braun and ended a bad night on an even worse note.
Hammel has pitched better this season than he’s given credit for. Hammel has had three starts this season in which he has been just awful. And he has admitted as much. But in his other 24 starts he has pitched rather well and the Cubs would not be where they are without him.
For as ‘bad’ as Hammel has been in the second half, he is 7-3 in his last 10 starts with a 3.58 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Hammel has allowed 27 runs, 22 earned runs, on 53 hits with 19 walks and 48 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings.
Hammel is 2-1 in three starts against the Cardinals this season with a 2.84 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Hammel has given up six runs on 15 hits with four walks and 13 strikeouts in 19 innings. At Busch this season, Hammel is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
Against the Redbirds in his career, Jason Hammel is 4-4 in 10 starts with a 4.80 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Jhonny Peralta: 9-for-27 with two doubles, two home runs and three walks
- Matt Carpenter: 4-for-22 with one double and one home run
- Yadier Molina: 7-for-19 with three doubles, one triples and two walks
- Brandon Moss: 5-for-14 with two doubles
- Matt Adams: 5-for-11 with three doubles and one walk
- Randal Grichuk: 4-for-12 with one double, one triple and one home run
- Stephen Piscotty: 4-for-10 with one double, one triple, one home run and one walk
- Kolten Wong: 1-for-8 with one double and two walks
- Brayan Pena: 3-for-10 with one double
- Jedd Gyorko: 1-for-8
- Aledmys Diaz: 1-for-6
- Jeremy Hazelbaker: 0-for-4
- Greg Garcia: 1-for-2 with one double
- Jaime Garcia: 0-for-2
- Tommy Pham: 0-for-2
Jaime Garcia has been awful in eight of his last 10 starts and the Cardinals have lost each of the last four games he’s started. Garcia is due a good outing so Mike Matheny will sprinkle the Cardinals’ magic dust on him today since he’s facing the Cubs.
Garcia is 0-2 in his last two starts with a 6.52 ERA and a 1.97 WHIP. And over his last 11 starts, Garcia is 4-6 with a 5.52 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. Garcia has allowed 39 runs, 38 earned, on 70 hits with 17 walks and 52 strikeouts in 62 innings. Garcia has served up 12 of his 22 homers on the year in his previous 11 starts.
At Busch this season, Garcia is 6-8 in 16 starts with a 4.19 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. And tonight is his third start of the year against the Cubs.
Jaime Garcia always brings his best, when healthy, against the Cubs. In two starts this season, Garcia is 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. And for his career, Garcia is 3-2 in eight games, seven starts, with a 2.27 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jaime Garcia
- Jason Heyward: 3-for-19
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-12 with five walks
- Kris Bryant: 2-for-7 with one double
- Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-6
- Ben Zobrist: 3-for-5 with one walk
- Jorge Soler: 2-for-4 with one double, one home run and one walk
- Jason Hammel: 1-for-4
- Albert Almora Jr.: 0-for-3
- Javier Baez: 1-for-2 with one walk
- Chris Coghlan: 1-for-3
- Willson Contreras: 1-for-3
- David Ross: 0-for-3
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …