5/31 Extra bases

* Jason Hammel enters today’s start with a 0.90 WHIP, third-lowest in MLB, and trailing the Reds’ Johnny Cueto (0.75) and the Giants’ Tim Hudson (0.88). The last time Hammel pitched at Miller Park was April 27. In that game, he had a no-hitter with one out in the sixth when he had a brain cramp and forgot the signs. Carlos Gomez doubled for the first of three Milwaukee hits. The Cubs held on for a 4-0 win.

“Honestly, when guys say they weren’t thinking of [a no-hitter], they’re lying through their teeth,” Hammel said after the game. “I was, too, but I don’t really care. I was more frustrated with what happened in the sixth. I screwed myself going back and forth with signs. … Basically, I mixed myself up and lost my rhythm. The no-hit problem was my fault.”

Cubs catcher John Baker could only shake his head, then laugh.

“He forgot,” Baker said of Hammel during Gomez’s at-bat. “We were laughing about it, and so of course, he gave up a hit. It cost me a watch. I should’ve figured out a way to use my mind to give him the signs with telepathy but that didn’t work.”

* After batting .273 in nine games from May 11-21, the Cubs were hitting .207 in eight games on this road trip, including a .238 mark with RISP.

* The Cubs have scored three runs or less in 30 of their 52 games (58 percent), and are 4-26 when scoring three runs or less, and 0-19 when scoring two runs or less.

* The Cubs today close out May, and enter with a 10-16 record for the month. Last year, they were 13-14 in May. The Cubs have had two three-game winning streaks during the month (counting the April 30 win), but have had four losing streaks of at least three games, including their current slide.

Anthony Rizzo is tied for the third in the NL with 20 walks this month. Luis Valbuena’s .295 batting average (23-for-78) leads the club in May while Mike Olt’s five homers and Junior Lake’s 15 RBI have paced the club.

Travis Wood leads the team with four victories this month. Neil Ramirez has posted a 0.93 ERA (1 ER/9.2 IP) in 11 contests this month.

— Carrie Muskat


CubsTalk, are you making any predictions in regard to tomorrow night`s hockey game? I have heard it said these are the two best teams in the hockey world, the Kings and Hawks. Is it a snub to the Blue Shirts? Of course it is, but is probably accurate just the same. I heard it said the Rangers are probably hoping tomorrow`s game goes five overtimes. I hope it isn`t bad form to look ahead, as I do not want to jinx the Hawks, but I`ve heard it said the Rangers and Blackhawks have never met in a Stanley Cup Finals, despite fact both have been in existence since the 1920`s. Also, no team has won back to back Stanley Cups since 1997. Please correct myself if I`m mistaken. Even though I`m not a hockey fan, one does not need to be a mental giant to conclude that Kane is a helluva player and a joy to observe play the game.

Blackhawks – 6
Kings – 3

Hossa, Bickell, Saad, Kane, Sharp, Toews all score !

Watched a couple innings of Friday’s game and realized the Cubs have given up.

I saw this too. The look on Castro’s face at the meeting at the mound talked volumes. The Cubs will turn it around but not with this team. Things will look very different next year. I had hoped that they would begin to turn things around this year. Can’t bring up the youngsters yet even if they’re ready.

That`s an interesting observation, Joseph, and a sad commentary on our beloved team. I did not see any of that game. The best baseball fan base deserves far better than what we are getting. {Joseph is my name as well.}

Aloha jhosk! There are less of us type of fans, meaning the kind that stick around. The younger folks today have so many things competing for their attention, I often wonder if not only our Cubs but other organization understand this. I am not saying that we have to have a perennial winner but I have seen a big difference just with the Giants in the last 14yrs since their move to their “newer” park. I think it should be a concern that for decades Cubs fans sold out Wrigley no matter what but I believe those days are over in regard to a philosophy by management that we can have a “mediocre” product on the field but as long as the beer is following and the hot dogs are a plenty, those “die-hard” fans will keep coming. I was really surprised at first to learn how attendance has been down for so many years now and I am afraid it will continue to slide unless they, the FO takes a leap of faith and goes for it. I give them credit for what has been done in the farm system but the farm system is just a part of the whole picture. After the Giants finally let Bonds go, they started to work towards their first WS in 2010, but the fans saw the building that was done both by the farm system and acquiring players. Sure some would not be with the team in 2010 but the fact of the matter was the organization was openly doing things and making moves and figuring out what group of players would work best, chemistry wise. So nothing happens over night but it helps to “see” when a team is trying to put together a good product and I think that is what is difficult to see with this team currently. I will always be a Cubs fan but there are less of us Die-Hards as time goes by and I am almost ashamed to say this but am glad as a student of baseball to have two teams in my area that do have the attitude with the resources available to them to strive for excellence. I hope our Cubs as an organization will embrace this and outwardly express it. Take care now. Mahalo!

Hang is there, K.G. Hindsight is 20/20 with the Giants. I remember a LOT of Giant fans calling into KNBR and complaining. And the biggest complaint – “Why do they keep drafting pitchers?” Well, that approach turned out okay.

I can see a lot of progress with the Cubs. I do agree with Doug that there really wasn’t much point in spending money the past couple of years. But with their key prospects on the way up, this offseason seems like a good time to start. I think they will. And if they don’t, then I am going to be angry on Carrie’s blog and Tom Ricketts is just going to have to live with that. So there!

Aloha Cubs Win- yes I remember the days of folks wanting Sabean’s “head,” because he invested a lot into the “Bonds Era,” but give credit where it is due, he completely went into another direction because his job depended on it and he delivered and throughout the process Sabean and his folks kept fans in the loop and explained what they were doing and could see the progress. I have a lot of respect for Sabean as he showed that an “old dog” can learn new tricks and adapted to the situation. I am hanging in there. Hammel pitched a great game today and the team was 5-6 when it came to RISP. Not lost on all of this is Barney is producing for a part time player he has 11 RBI’s and is playing good defense. Hope our Cubbies take the rubber game tomorrow! Mahalo!

Hello k.g. Yes, it is hard to endure having the worst record in all of mlb. I do admire what the Giants have done as well as the A`s. It looks very plausible there could be a Bay Area W.S. I would be a Giants fan ,were I not a Cubs supporter. Recall yesterday I mentioned how Houston is no longer the worst team in mlb as they have won seven straight now and have impressive young talent like George Springer. I just learned that he played college baseball at UConn, just as did Mike Olt, and I have reason to believe they were indeed teammates. Mahalo!

we have the worst record in ALL of baseball, but rickey “little league” and cleo think
all is well … this is insane. lets bring up bryant, baez, alcantara and make vizcizno
the closer and see what happens; it can’t be any worse than what we have now.
look at the empy seats … stop the giant sign war and start working on having a
major league team on the north side.

jhosk I am a diehard baseball/hockey guy. Played more hockey it seems than ball, one loss away from Wiliamsport. Please!!!! do not ask for scores on the Hawks game from that renegade CubsTalk. There forwards are bigger than our defensive men,they have six of the top ten in scoring,they are a beeast of a team. Six to three is not right.This will be a defensive game,hoping the outcome is three to two Hawks,overtime for sure. Come on Corey,we need you! GO HAWKS!!!! P.S. Cubs Talk,dont take the renegade as a negative thing,I enjoy some of your commets.

That`s interesting to learn your take on the upcoming game, Kenly. You were right about Barry Melrose. His opinions are no more valuable than those of the casual fan. He`s been all over the map with his predictions. Before the series began, he picked the Hawks; then when Chicago fell behind 3-1, it was the Kings. And he assured us the Kings would win Game Six. We Hawks fans should be nervous about Game Seven because Barry is picking Chicago. Will be paying attention to whether you predicting a low scoring game or CubsTalk a high scoring affair will be correct. Is interesting your Little League team came within a whisker of getting to Williamsport. Is always a pleasure, Kenly.

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