#Cubs Hammel to have MRI Thursday

Cubs starter Jason Hammel will undergo an MRI on his left hamstring after he was forced out of Wednesday’s game because of pain he felt on the second pitch of the game.

Hammel was removed after throwing 12 pitches in the first inning with tightness in his left hamstring, and will have the test on Thursday. The Cubs led 5-4 after eight innings but the Cardinals rallied on Jhonny Peralta’s two-run home run in the ninth to post a 6-5 victory, and split the four-game series.

“[I felt it] right when I landed [on the second pitch],” Hammel said of the pain. “I’ve always been a stiff front leg guy landing, and I felt a sharp pain in the back of the knee. MRI tomorrow, and we’ll figure out exactly what it is.”

Hammel said the pain was enough that he shut himself down.

“Every pitch afterword got tighter and tighter and more painful,” he said.

— Carrie Muskat


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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?

You make some good points, fonzie. I especially like the very last sentence. To be privy to those conversations amongst the brain trust, and about those very topics you suggest, is `to die for.` Bob Costas felt a need to apologize to Strop recently after assessing a `failed` outing as `atrocious.` I guess Bob succumbed to the need to be `pc,` because what he said was brutally honest. Last night was a second recent example of an atrocious Strop performance.

One has to wonder if even the very well respected and intelligent Joe Maddon is susceptible to a “company line” thusly tolerating Castro’s mental lapses. Not so much Castro’s failures as an actual ball player, all ballplayers will have failures as failure in this game is routine and inevitable. Yet the mental lapses on Castro’s part seems to be an exception to the rule on this team, why? At Castro’s current (lack of) production rate, his somewhat questionable defense and considering his blatant mental lapses…could the Cubs not get a “better game” by utilizing Russell at short and Herrera at second? I was once a Castro backer and I am certainly not in any way suggesting Herrera is THE answer but currently Herrera has shown signs of life
and a baseball intelligence, something lacking in Castro….so why not send Castro what might be a much needed message (warning if you will) and bench him for a string of games? It could be what he needs the most to elevate his game which I still think is possible but not counting on it without him being shaken up a bit. I say SHAKE him to AWAKEN him or move on with this roster….

I’m beginning to side with you guys on Castro, especially after that late strikeout on a slider away. How many times have we seen that? Rick Sutcliffe on ESPN said, surprisingly, he remains a Castro fan. Item: Ever since Opening Night, the Cubs have lost every single game shown this season on television here in Brazil. A new curse? I watched the doubleheader sweep on my computer, via MLB.TV.

I can see somebody remaining a Castro fan due to what can be perceived as an untapped potential in the still very young 25 year old player. I myself am no longer a fan of Castro but I am neither a hater. I have simply come to the conclusion that Castro should be treated no differently than any other player that loses their focus to play, their focus of the strike zone etc. and it appears there remains a unique set of rules for the young man, which may be causing more harm than good. Obviously he needs to get better in order to be depended on as a run producing middle infielder and whether or not he gets better as he matures is in doubt. The question is….how to help him mature??? It may be he needs a few lessons and it is not obvious to us fans if he is getting those lessons because we see him play almost every inning of every game. Some time on the bench may be the only way we fans can actually see some discipline or an attempt to help him mature? It’s a tough call with Castro because at times he shines but those times appear to be diminishing during this season, a season too important to allow subpar play to continue. We are in the thick of a wild card race which demands a smarter level of play than we have been getting from Castro.

I hear you, Bruce. I recall Sutcliffe commenting that he`s a Castro supporter last night. Said Castro has been `catching heat` all season from multiple sources in the Chicago media. At least that`s what I inferred from what Rick implied. I almost always agree with Sut, as he is one of my `all time` favorite Cubs, but that is not the case this time with Starlin. Sut and I are `light years` apart on this subject. Sut even said that Starlin gets blamed for the rain when it falls. That is `over the top` on Rick`s part. The criticism Starlin has received all season from multiple sources is more than justified. All Sutcliffe needed to look at was the result of that `at bat` that Castro was in the middle of when Sut was commenting. To painfully remind y`all , Starlin fanned. That strike out represents a microcosm of his season, I suggest. It also pains me to hear of that trend you are experiencing in Brazil, Bruce, the one to which you refer in which the Cubs have lost every blessed game which has been televised there. That has got to cease. We Cubs` fans do not need to endure any more curses. We have our fill of them. Trust me.

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