#Cubs Hammel leaves with hamstring injury

Cubs starter Jason Hammel left Wednesday’s game after throwing 12 pitches in the first inning with left hamstring tightness.

Hammel retired the side in order in the first, and appeared to pull up when Matt Carpenter hit a grounder to first baseman Anthony Rizzo for the second out.

Before Jorge Soler’s at-bat in the Cubs’ first, Chicago manager Joe Maddon went out to talk to home plate umpire Pat Hoberg, and Clayton Richard started warming up in the bullpen.

This was Hammel’s 17th start of the season.

— Carrie Muskat


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Tonight`s final result can be summed up succinctly. It is not complicated. The Cardinals have a shortstop who knows what it means to produce `in the clutch,` and we do not. Case closed.

It’s not just Castro, We have too many Chris’s on the team. Denorfia and Coghlan need to go. The only one worth staying is named Kris. Just can’t pin it on him. Sure he makes more errors than ever,. Can’t he hit the darned ball? Fowler struck out to end tonighyt’s game, so he’s the Goat, lol

I actually like Chris Denorfia. I was critical of him when first signed over the winter, and suggested Jonny Gomes would have been a better option. I was wrong. Denorfia has produced both offensively and defensively. It`s not just that Fowler failed `in the clutch` tonight in the game`s final ab. Have you seen his batting average across the entire season batting left handed with RISP? It`s obscene. Trust me.


You just proved the point once again that `figures lie, and liars figure.`Smiling

Castro 9 game winning RBIs….. Peralta 10…. so there you win but its your ignorance of realizing that castro is not actually a bad clutch hitter….. nothing you have supports your claim except you ignorant opinion…. backed up by absolutely nothing.

It shows how close minded you are. Take away your bias away for one second and look at the whole picture…. but I know you won’t because you have shown your colors over and over. Learn something once in awhile and we all would benefit and be able to converse more….

I noticed you did not dare compare the OBP or SLG of the two shortstops. Castro`s OBP is a pathetic .282 and Peralta`s .349. SLG: Castro .323; Peralta: .466. But put all that aside. My biggest issue with Starlin is his lack of focus and lack of hustle at times. Why did he stand in the box when he drove the ball deep down the left field line late in Wednesday`s game when there was a high probability that ball could have been ruled `fair?` That`s inexcusable. And btw, which metric measures that? You are the metrics aficianodo. I suggest it`s `heart` or lack thereof. Please enlighten us regarding the metric for measuring `heart.` I`m certain you`ll defend Starlin and apologize for that conduct, because that`s what you do. But I`ll never buy your defense, and I`m confident I have plenty of company on here and elsewhere who share my view.

I didn’t use obp or any other stat because you brought up “clutch” and how Castro wasn’t clutch and peralta was there buddy…..

Addendum: It behooves a club to have a closer who has the `mindset` to do just that: close games. Strop is not that guy. He`s an acceptable `setup` man, but that`s all. Look for Maddon`s guy, Raphael Soriano, to become part of the major league roster immediately, if not sooner.

Aloha jhosk- I was talking on the way home with a relative just South of Chicago with their radio on so I could hear Pat Hughes (sp?) in the back ground, as they said to me, just enjoy that they came back no matter what happens. First and foremost I hope Hammel is all right. I do not care if Wada-Hendricks-Arrieta-Lester would have had to come in the 2nd inning, it would have been hard on any pitcher. At least in a rotation, you “know” your schedule and you gear up for it, so Richard had to enter in a difficult situation. There are pro’s and con’s to this game so let’s get the con’s out of the way: Castro is hurting this team. Two days in a row, he comes up to bat with a runner at 3rd and 1 out. Does he do like Rizzo and shorten up on his swing, meaning making an adjustment…no, he just swings like it is a 0-0 count no matter the actual count is, no matter how many outs there are, no matter if there are runners on base and where they are on base. It is a miracle in yesterday’s game that he did not hit into a dp and end that inning. Today he was given a 2nd and 3rd chance and botched it. The other con was Strop. I know he can throw hard but that does not mean anything if you do not know how to make pitch selections or are at least thinking about one’s strategy, so many moves ahead. I could not believe the pitches he threw to of all people Peralta. In fact, though the bullpen has been good these past 2 weeks, I have not been impressed with him and was surprised that Maddon put him in. He thinks he is going to blow folks away with his fast ball, but he does not set it up well and Peralta made him pay for a terrible mistake. But before the 9th. It was absolutely crucial that with runners at third and first with 1 out that we score at least 1 run if not more. But Castro letting the team down again in an important ab, it opened a door for the Cardinals and gave them hope. Another reason why I was surprise Maddon went with Strop instead of keeping Rondon in who breezed through the 8th. I know Fowler had some chances too. But over all this team left on base 16 folks and almost 1/3 of that was by Castro. I really think Maddon needs to give him days off at this point. If he is hungry and wants to play, then he needs to make the adjustments and now, he is no longer a kid, it is time to produce. I said going into this home stand that this team needs to go 8-2, no less than 7-3. There is no more room for error against the WSox, maybe now is the time to give Castro a prolonged rest, possibly Fowler too. Pro’s: kudo’s to the rest of the team for playing small-ball, Montero for fighting and adjusting during his 6th inning ab. This team can come back from deficits and if they can take one encouraging thing away from this tough loss it is that they will have more chances to get it right. Take care. Mahalo.

Yes, k.g., I agree Rondon should have been permitted to remain in the game for the ninth. That would very well have led to success, meaning we would more than likely have won the game. But Rondon is not a closer, anymore than Strop is. The truth is we do not have a `closer.` That point you made about having a runner on third in the 8th with just one out resonates with me. All we needed in that circumstance was a fly ball to the medium outfield; it did not need to be a deep fly; but what we got was a batter striking out which is `worthless,` as everyone is well aware. At least put the ball in play. That could lead to multiple outcomes, including errors leading to runs. I ask fans to look at tonight`s game; it reveals why the Cardinals have a substantial lead in the standings over our club. They know how to win games. I hope we learn from this game. We are not there yet. Can we reach that place? Absolutely,but it does not happen by osmosis.

Aloha jhosk- Good point that the Cubs do not have a “closer” at this time. I know I sound like a broken record about “small-ball,” but it is so important and that is part of what well call in ball “following-through…” Rizzo’s sac fly the other day was as you put it “medium” depth, Castro surely has enough power to do that. What he does not have is bat control and a willingness to make adjustments. This is where his immaturity really shows; Rizzo on the other hand shortens up with two strikes and is especially attentive knowing there is a runner not only in scoring position but where the runner is located; that all plays into how his next swing will be. I am not sure if Castro can learn this or if he wants to. I know Addison is in a slump right now but give him credit in the ninth he fought off some good pitches from Rosenthal and got a double. I do not think it would be a bad idea, as much as I would love for the team to finish out this home-stand at 7-3, to bench Castro the next 3 games and move Addison over to SS and put in Herrera at Second. I know Addison is a rookie but I believe he is an upgrade defensively over Castro at SS, Herrera is has a pretty good glove for second. This way up the middle the defense is more solid. Then whatever they can get from these two offensively is extra. In the outfield, there are many options too, given Fowler is having a tough time right now at the plate as well. I do not think I would bench both Castro and Fowler at the same time but it could be done. As you say, this team will get better but it does not happen out of “thin-air,” rather smart and hard-work, team work. Take care now. Mahalo!

I posted this under the wrong headline:
I would have rather Strop be told to pitch around Peralta, putting him on first base. No way I’m going to let Peralta, currently the Cards best hitter and biggest threat beat me. Not with Strop pitching, not without a lock down closer (which Strop is not) to go after Peralta. I’d rather have the tying run on 2nd with a force play at any base with the average to slow speed of Peralta on first base…..Maybe Strop WAS told to pitch around Peralta but failed to execute? Maybe. This was a tough loss but making lemonade from this lemon it may punctuate the need for Theo to get a closer for this season if not next season (Soriano? Could be but….but…but….). Also, I am now leaning toward agreeing with those of you who would like to see Castro removed. After taking a called third strike in such a key situation and then in another AB NOT running on what might have been an extra base hit down the left field line???? INEXCUSABLE and certainly not what Maddon had in mind with his “respect 90″ mantra. How can Maddon allow such lack luster “effort” from Castro? Castro should be given a few days off to “think” about his role and value to this team. CHANGE his mental awareness or take that kind of play elsewhere. I wonder what the fly on the wall his hearing when Maddon and Epstein talk abut Castro/the roster?

Aloha fonzie/Larry/jhosk/Bruce- I was thinking about what I have written in the past about Castro and his play. As you know I do not believe in disparaging anyone, so I try hard to comment constructively, though I am not perfect. I will not forget how some folks were so mean to Barney last year; go ahead and critique him and his play both at the plate and on the field, I have no problem with that. Having said that, if Maddon and the FO are going to do something with Castro, I am sure they will give him ample chances and sit down with him and lay out. Meaning, “Castro we want you to be a part of this team and in order for that to happen, this and that needs to take place…We are going to give you some time off as a starter and want you to work not only on your approach at the plate but your overall approach to the game because you are no longer a rookie-kid, this is going on your 6th year…” Then if it were me, I would assemble the other players and say we have a guy who is having a tough time right now, need to support him so Addison we are going to move you to SS and Herrera you to Second for some game but we hope that Castro returns with renewed vigor. So it sets the tone that no one person is being singled out and if anything, this is an opportunity for the team to grow. I know I have been hard on Castro and am not giving him a pass by no means; he needs to grow up and understand that the team comes before him. It will be interesting to see what follows these next few days and weeks. Take care everyone. Mahalo!

k.g. I don’t think any of our comments are disparaging Castro. It is with some sadness (for lack of a better word?) that I at least have come to the conclusion Castro is inefficient at his job. CAN he mature? Are we even in the right area thinking it is a matter of maturity? Could it be some mental ailment that prevents him from a certain level of concentration? That is why I mention the word sad because his lack of concentration may go deeper than we fans realize. I would hope that the manager as well as the organization has gone to great lengths supporting the young man and by all indication of what is said in the media and Casto’s lack of “bench time” this is the case. However it still leaves the team in need of a better performance should nailing down a wild card spot be the priority for the remainder of this season not to mention any future playoff runs. It comes down to what options Maddon has and his thoughts regarding the best chance to capture a wild card spot. Herrera is pretty much his only option for a replacement (at 2nd base, Russell to SS) and he may think Herrera may be misused as a regular so he sticks with Castro “for now”. If LaStella wasn’t injured we may have seen Russell at SS and LaStella at 2nd base for quite a few games. It’s circumstantial at this point but imagine if LaStella was available all year?

Delmon Young was just released. I wonder….

Aloha fonzie, that is interesting (D. Young)… I agree with you, I hope the organization has gone through great lengths to do everything it can in regard to Castro and his development. If they come to that realization and there is no more that can be done, maybe a change a scenery will be good for him. Again, I also say if there is no more to be done and/or a “sweet-heart” deal of a trade before the deadline that nets a bat/pitcher/top prospect. It is a tough situation to be in because on the one hand Castro has been with the organization a long time, on the other hand a manager and the FO have to think about the good of the whole team. Would not want to be in their shoes. I had forgot about LaStella and was sad by that development because that took away an option as well. If a WC is in their sights, there may be some “pruning” that takes place in order to bring in necessary pieces. We will know soon enough. Take care now. Mahalo.

ugh no thanks

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