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