#Cubs Hammel to face Cards

Jason Hammel is scheduled to start Tuesday night in the second game of the Cubs’ series against the Cardinals and Michael Wacha. Here’s the lineup:

Jackson CF

Castro 2B

Coghlan LF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant RF

Montero C

Baez 3B

Hammel P

Russell SS

Hammel did not get a decision in his last start against the Reds, giving up four runs over five innings. The right-hander is putting together a career-year in terms of strikeout numbers, averaging 9.1 K/9 this season. He’s also 10 Ks away from tying his career-high of 158 strikeouts set in 2014.

Hammel is 1-3 with a 6.31 ERA in six career starts against the Cardinals, including two starts against them this year.

No Dexter Fowler in the lineup, but that could be a way to give the veteran a breather before the day game on Wednesday.


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A lot of Runs early for Hammel. He needs to get the ball over the plate with something on it.
Lovin this.

Hey Jasper, Cubbies off to a good start. Baez swinging much better.

Much better is huge, what a lineup when Schwarber gets back. Then Soler? Who knows how good they can be?

Aloha Folks, this has been good. Could be dated if Maddon starts the seventh with a different pitcher. Hammel add a mistake pitch to Grichuk. But Strop is wearing thin as he just does seem to have his head in the game. That 7th inning was not good. Hope they can pull this out. Mahalo!

Agree with the mistake pitch by Hammel, but the walk after is why he was taken out.
Grimm hits a guy (who never tried to get out of the way), then a soft single to right by Pham done in Grimm.
Strope, hard to understand?
Hope Rodney still has something left.

Very nice to see: Castro is back!😀. Madden has a plethora of infielders to move around now. The battle for position is on!

White, It is nice to see Castro return to being a hitter. We all know that may be his saving grace to remain a major league everyday starter as his defense is not his strong suit. This late season playoff run and demotion can be very constructive for the young man. He seems to be handling it admirably and has put himself back in the mix to remain a starter for next year’s Cubs team….perhaps. I hope the majority of his less than acceptable season will be just a prolonged slump that never afflicts him again. However, it does appear that Baez will certainly have something to say about next season’s starting infield and Castro may not find a home on the Cubs 2016 roster. So many legit options on this team, what a good feeling our Cubs have depth to play with, choose from and trade with.

Aloha Jasper, that is true. This bullpen is the big what-if, I know the FO will address this come next year but gosh, can someone please get their pitch over? And not a batter too. Ok, time for a deep breath. Mahalo.

Well Rodney did his job, nice test for Rondon coming up.

Recall when Starlin lost his starting shortstop position. Joe Maddon`s message to Castro was: “Be ready.” At the time, I assumed that message was bound to fall on deaf ears. But I was wrong. Starlin had been marking time prior to that, and I believe he needed to be motivated to change his ways, and losing his job and receiving that message from his skipper `woke him up.` You are seeing the results, and I`m not referencing just tonight`s performance.

Agree jhosk, Castro took it in stride and showing improvement. That really says a lot about him. Hope it carries over in the field as well.
What about the Rodney/Rondon combo tonight? Especially after the 7th inning and the Grimm meltdown.

Aloha jhosk & jasper- good points. I think Maddon was forthright with Castro which made it easy, meaning Castro understood this manager is straight up with us and I cannot mess around. Call it parameters but it is a good thing, so I hope Castro continues as well. Now what I am about to say is not against Castro it is just what I have been able to observe and right now Russell and Baez in regard to the infield defense looks a lot stronger than Russell and Castro. So, interesting to see how this plays out? I understand Grimm and his meltdown but I also bring up Strop, he has been very shaky as of late and when you are given a job in the bp, you have to know that you are there to either hold a lead, not give it away and/or stop the “bleeding.” Strop reminds me of Castro, “aloof,” but thank goodness Maddon’s message to Castro is working. Maybe something like this is needed for Strop? Anyway, I think the big shakeup for the off-season going into next season will be the bullpen. Yes, it seems like the FO goes after a big FA pitcher (ie: Price) but after that, that bullpen needs to be re-worked. Kudo’s to Rodney for coming into the 8th after the meltdown and holding the line so that St. Louis could not build off of the previous inning’s momentum. Tomorrow is another big game and Lester needs to be nails not only with the batters but St. Louis can run too and he needs to take base runners seriously too. Mahalo!

Hello jhosk, I think the “Castro move” was a great example of Maddon’s ability to work with young players and instinctively know what to do in some of the worst times of a young player’s career. Maddon has proven he is the right man for the right job at the right time. One of Theo’s most dramatic and decisive moves was getting Maddon at all costs. It looks like Castro is “ready” and willing to contribute in any way Maddon thinks is best for a particular game. Maddon is nicely re-introducing Baez to the big leagues as well, improving his chance of success by picking and choosing his playing time. Maddon’s performance is just as thrilling as the players’ on the field.

Yes, fonzie. That is probably Maddon`s strongest suit, meaning the one you cited, working with young talent and getting them to achieve at their highest levels. Is a big part of what he did all those years he was part of the Angels` organization (player development).

Grimm has been unreliable of late, jasper. See August 31st when he surrendered four earned runs in just one-third inning. Rodney has promise, and was good to see Rondon `close out` the team with the best record in the majors. I guess Hector was justified if he `pounded his chest` tonight after recording the final out. {I forgot to observe if he did that or not.} I do not like to see it at any time from any athlete, but that`s me. I do know nothing I`ve seen from our relievers is going to keep me from feeling `trepidation` when one of those relievers enters a contest with the outcome `on the line.` I continue to long for a `closer` I have confidence in.

I hear you, k.g. You also make some good points in several areas. As for Strop, he`s one of those bullpen guys it`s hard to be confident with. Ever since Bob Costas described one of Pedro`s relief efforts as `atrocious,` and afterward felt he needed to apologize for the remark, I`ve seen little from Strop to be impressed with. I suggest Cubs` fans had better hope Joe Maddon sees no need to call on Strop for that likely wildcard playoff game vs. the Pirates.

All I can say here Jhosk is everyone has bad days. Look at that start by Wacha yesterday, I am sure that was unexpected by Cardinal fans.
On Strope it’s very true, we never know which Strope will show up?
On Grimm he has been off and on since Maddons remarks about him on National TV after Ariettas no hitter.

uh oh jhosk…your guy Strop not lookin’ too good vs. the Cards…Let’s hope Richards can bail him out…

I missed those remarks Maddon made about Grimm, jasper. Could you summarize them? I`m guessing they were positive comments; I do not recall seeing him denigrate any players. Good point you make about Wacha; he`s one of best young arms in the game, and the Cubs made him look pedestrian last night. These two games vs. the team with baseball`s best record and in their stadium have been impressive from the Cubs` fans viewpoint. Would be nice to get today`s game too, before moving on to Philadelphia for the weekend. I do not think it`s greedy of us to want the sweep. You can be sure the Cardinals would show no mercy toward us were they in our position.

Hard to explain Maddons comments jhosk. He was kidding. But maybe not taken that way by Grimm. Either way he needs together over whatever the problem is.
The Cubs just need one more win for a 500 season. That is awesome with 25 games to go. Very exciting season.

Sorry autocorrect on phone again

Aloha jasper,jhosk, Fonzie I hope Strop can hold the lead right now and would be surprised if Lester feels anxious with him coming in. We need this win. Mahalo.

Aloha folks, no excuse for this. I think Maddon has to have the same talk with Strop as he did with Castro. Maybe go as far as not pitching him for a while. I would go as far as to tell him, if you do not turn this around, you do not make the post-season team. I hope the team can come back today. Mahalo.

That was a great series, nothing to be ashamed of. Cubs took two, knocked out their starters by the 5th three games, scored Runs.
That’s a positive thing fans.

Aloha k.g. I see your point about no excuse but the failure to drive the final nail in an opponent’s coffin is indicative of this team team still being short of what it takes to dominate in a series vs. high caliber teams. What is short is a closer for one thing and quite possibly the light’s out set up man. But they are young and still finding their way. Taking 2 of 3 IN St. Louis is something to be proud of but to confirm your feelings losing what would have been the sweep so late in the game is somewhat telling. You are correct in thinking the big shake up next season will involve the bullpen. The Cubs are fine with a projected very good offense but the bullpen must be addressed. Hang in there! Mahalo.

Fonzie, agree with you. After five they had left 8 on base. Had chances to put it away but this team is learning. Taking 2 of 3 was huge. On to Philly for some payback!

Agreed jasper, it was a great series. Just wish they did not go out this way. If the Cardinals from the get go were blowing them away today, well you chalk it up to a good team salvaging one game but for the second day in a row, the bp melts down, 8 runs in 2 innings is hard to accept. Lester and Hammels only gave up 3 runs over 14 innings, the bp needs to step up and hold the line. Time to start a new streak. Mahalo!

No looking back K.g., its on to Phillie where the Cubs owe them a sweep in their pasture.

Aloha Jasper, that is so true, this team needs to give back to Philly the “gift” they left in Chi-Town, a broom…. Mahalo!

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