#Cubs Hammel opens series vs Giants

Jason Hammel gets the start Thursday night when the Cubs open a four-game series against the defending World Champion Giants at Wrigley Field. In case you haven’t checked the standings lately, the Giants lead the Cubs by a half game in the Wild Card standings. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber C

Coghlan LF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Soler RF

Castro SS

Hammel P

Russell 2B

This is the first meeting between the two teams. The Giants have split six games so far on their 10-game road trip.

Chris Heston will start for the Giants. He lasted 4 2/3 innings and gave up three runs in a no-decision vs. the Rangers on Saturday. Heston has a streak of 10 straight starts — beginning with his no-hitter — in which he’s given up three runs or less. In that stretch, he’s 6-1 with a 2.19 ERA.

Hammel earned the win in Milwaukee last Friday, giving up one run over 5 2/3 innings. The victory snapped an eight-start winless streak.

The Giants’ Buster Posey has an active seven-game hit streak. But going back even further, he is batting .406 with seven homers and 39 RBI over his last 35 games. In that stretch, he’s struck out only nine times.


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Aloha Folks! Yes, Yes, Yes! I took the wife out to see the new Mission Impossible movie tonight because I know she would not want to listen to this “Giants'” game! But was checking right after and saw that they jumped out to an early lead then gave up runs late in the game and held on against a good team. Well, cannot party too much tonight they need their rest for tomorrow, hope Lester brings it and the team scores runs for him. Mahalo!

That is a break we are getting today with Vogelsong replacing Leake as the Giants` starter. Vogelsong is vulnerable, and today`s pitching matchup absolutely favors the Cubs. Let`s take advantage of this opportunity.

Aloha jhosk, so true! Vogelsong did not pitch poorly and kudos to Coughlan playing at 2nd and contributing at the plate too! I am listening on the job to Jon Miller of the Giants-KSFO. Lester is pitching a very good game, lends to Ross’ value but works well when team is hitting, Schwarber-Soler. They need to pick this up, tomorrow Cain pitches. Take care now! Schwarber is up to bat! Mahalo!

Aloha jhosk-Jasper-petrey-Tom-Kenly-Bruce and folks, I heard on the radio via the Giants announcers that Lester had a tantrum in the 7th inning because Soler should have gotten to a routine fly ball. I understand if Lester is upset but he is a veteran and needs to keep his composure. I hope Madden can bring the team together, there is a lot of ball left. Mahalo!

Why assume the team Is NOT together due to the observance of this one display by Lester?

I`m pleased you mention that, k.g. because I absolutely feel that ball you reference was very `catchable.` It was my impression Soler was `lackadaisical` with his approach to that ball. Soler did not seem all that concerned that it dropped in front of him. That was an opportunity from our tv broadcasters to call attention to Soler`s conduct, but we got nothing from them. They are both vanilla. I do not know if it`s true Lester engaged in a tantrum over the play not being made, but I do know it`s imperative that Soler`s defense improve going forward. We`ve witnessed other recent examples of Soler`s defensive lapses, and they`re concerning. Jorge`s bat was impressive both today and yesterday, and it would be ideal if he could become a `complete` player.

Aloha jhosk- Maybe Carrie will jump in here. The Giants’ announcers were really surprised by Lester’s conduct. They totally understood why he was upset with Soler. They said he kept looking out to right field and then looking into the dugout and threw a ball that way as to say “what is going on!” I Think they said there was another questionable fly ball which Soler should have gotten as well. They were surprised by Lester’s lack of composure but again, understood why he was so upset. I also heard that Castro maybe given a lot more time off since the team is not in the hunt again. I like Russell at SS and he made one heck of a play in the 7th, even though the Giants’ folks thought their guy was safe at second, they all said that Russell is amazing. Mahalo!

Did y`all read that report that today may have represented the `end of the line` with Starlin being our everyday starting shortstop? Maddon is being consistent with who he is. If you do not produce, you don`t play, no matter who you are.

Aloha jhosk and all Cubs fan, gosh I thought I was going to lose it. jhosk you have called, the relief pitching is not holding the line, 8-3 going into the 9th, giving up runs to make it a “save” situation, not good. I think Mott’s time is winding down, he throws hard but that is it. Need to pick up tomorrow’s game! Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., you `beat me to the punch,` so to speak, as I was going to comment that it is great the Cubs won, despite the best efforts of relievers Russell and Motte to surrender the contest to the Giants. How many times does Motte need to fail before the manager realizes this guy no longer can get major league hitters out? It required several weeks time more than necessary for the manager to remove Starlin from the everyday lineup, and Joe is `late to the party` as far as Jason Motte is concerned. And isn`t it apparent that Addison Russell is `positively giddy` to be manning his natural position? He`s rejuvenated and the move has obviously influenced the young man`s offensive contributions. With Arrieta hurling Sunday, we have an excellent opportunity to `sweep` the world champions. Get the brooms ready, k.g.

Aloha jhosk,I feel a “little” bad for Giants fan, my wife being one. They are a good team. The Cubs have to win because the are getting no help from teams playing the Cardinals and Pirates, so I approve of the way Maddon has handled this latest stretch and give him props because in the case of Castro, Castro and all those in the know understand Maddon gave him more than ample opportunities. I think some of these relievers are just not doing their jobs and it is hurting but to give some grace as there is a lot being asked of everyone with the unique position this Cubs team is in and it will not let up. I hope they all can keep their sanity during this exciting time. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., you make good points. The relief pitching is our Achilles` heel right now; how far we go depends on if it can show improvement going forward, or if it can be upgraded. Yes, the Giants indeed are a good team, and the Giants and their fans will be looking for payback later in the month when we have to play them in their building. Again it`s worth repeating we are fortunate not to have to face MadBum in this series. I`ll wager the Cubs will encounter him at AT&T Park.

The first sign that Motte was finished was when the Cardinals showed no interest in keeping him. That team knows what they are doing and knows pitching. We have some castoffs on our team this year that are not really working out but I will not forget this year is still part of the plan and still part of the learning curve for this club and Maddon. All part of emerging as a genuine contender next season with a few more upgrades. Maybe going after a legit closer?

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