#Cubs Hammel vs Brewers in finale

Jason Hammel will close the Cubs’ series in Milwaukee on Thursday. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF
Heyward RF
Bryant 3B
Rizzo 1B
Zobrist 2B
Soler LF
Russell SS
Montero C
Hammel P

*If you’re looking ahead to the Cubs series in San Francisco vs. the Giants, here are the pitching matchups:

Friday: RHP Jake Arrieta (7-0, 1.29) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (1-4, 7.43)

Saturday: LHP Jon Lester (4-2, 1.88) vs. RHP Matt Cain (0-5, 5.87)

Sunday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 3.51) vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner (5-2, 2.45)


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Aloha Folks- First, kudos to the Milwaukee Brewers, they outplayed our Cubbies. Their starting pitching, defense and hitting. I think this was a very good series for this young team as well as the one against the Braves and Padres. Those 3 series together the Cubs were 3-5 (one rain-out). It was fortunate that the Brewers did not sweep this series. So, call it teachable moments I hope Maddon will play around with the lineup, where folks are slotted as well as looking forward to having Szczur back. Tomorrow is a new day and a new series! Take care now. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g. Let`s hope the bats emerge from their slumber this weekend versus the Giants. As I recollect, you plan to be a paying customer for at least one of the contests. Enjoy! You are fortunate. I`ve heard it said that AT&T Park may very well be the very best venue in all of MLB, next to Wrigley Field, of course.

I just reread your comment, k.g. I originally overlooked something you said. You are absolutely correct that we are ever so fortunate we were not swept versus the Brewers. We scored just two runs in 13 innings of that middle game, and we gave the Brewers multiple opportunities to make us pay, and they declined. We were blessed to come out of that game with a victory. It was a gift. We have much work to do. Did I mention Jason Heyward does not resemble the guy who played for the Cardinals in 2015, or the man who performed for the Braves before that? Let`s do what we have to do to get this man going. Are you listening John Mallee?

Aloha jhosk- yes, the wife and I will be paying customers today! Thank goodness they let us bring in food because as much as we like some of the items they have at the park (eg: garlic fries now almost $8.00!) the cost is amazing. Today we get towatch Arrieta vs Peavy. Now we know on paper who is the stronger of the two is but if this past Brewers series have shown, a pitcher with an 8.00era just might stymie your lineup. The Giants have been playing great ball as of late. AT&T is considered more of a pitchers park. the Cubs have to be patient at the plate, small ball is a huge plus. I would love to see Cubs hitters going to RT-RT/CF, as that is known as “Triples-Alley.” Now with Fowler, Zobrist, Rizzo, Montero and Heyward all from the left-side today, who knows you might see what they call a “Splash-Hit(s)” into “McCovey-Cove,” which would be awesome! I would love to see Bryant launch one into the huge mitt/glove in LF by the Coke bottle! But I digressed. Seriously, I hope the team is loose and has fun and at the same time does not squander opportunities when runners are on base. The Giants have a very very good outfield in Pagan-Span-Pence. Also, many of the Giants hitters are batting over .400 against Arrieta. I like you am rooting for the team and want to see folks like Heyward, Soler, Baez come up to the plate in huge situations and come through in the clutch.This is a crucial series as it leads into St. Louis who is playing better ball too. I am looking forward to it! You take care now. Mahalo!

Sure hope you enjoyed that game K.g. Hope your wife enjoyed that caught balls by Heyward and Soler?🙂
Glad to hear you got to go to the game.

Aloha jasper and jhosk! What a game, a frigid cold game! I hope Carrie chimes in here as I bet we sat almost directly across from where she was! The announcers and press are behind home plate up a bit, she may have been by Jon Miller, Kruk & Kuip nice and warm! It was not a nice evening for baseball it was cold and the wind was strong. We were in LF-Center. Was not able to see the catch by Heyward because of our seating. I hope to see it on the net later, same with the Soler one off of Buster’s bat, correct? I was so happy for Soler last night as well as the whole team. Arrieta looked a little off at the beginning but settled in as the game went on. I have to say, the Giants bp did a very good job after Peavy left and up until Zobrist/Soler in the 8th. The wife got me a pair of royal blue socks as that was all I could “wear,” to the game but as fate would have it, the family next to her were Cubs fans, all decked out! So if you saw the big mitt/coke bottle we were to the right of it at the very top of the bleachers. By the way jhosk, a “specialty draft” cup of beer (maybe 10-12oz) was 12.00 (I do not drink but feel for those who do and have to shell out that amount of $$$), garlic fries went up to 8.50 and we got less of them! So, under the Coke bottle area they have vending machines so we purchased a Sprite for $4.00! Yes, going to a game at AT&T is not cheap anymore! We used to go to up to 8-10games a year and this year only a handful but so happy to see the team regroup and hoping that Lester will shut them Giants down for a second day in a row. Well, I am in a “black-out” area so I will listen to the game on the radio! You folks take care now. Mahalo!

Thanks for all that detail, k.g. It`s much appreciated. I watched much of game on my laptop, and I was immediately struck by the way the fans were dressed. Many were wearing parkas or something similar, and it was apparent it was a cold night. Joe Maddon wore that winter beanie, for want of a better word, the one with the Cubs` logo. Is a pity what happened with Jason, and one has to expect him to miss significant time. It was a great catch, but at what cost? As with Schwarber`s devastating injury, if the play is never made, we have a healthy player. Soler indeed did impress. He made the catch at the wall off the bat of Posey, and, if memory serves, there were two on base at the time, and that was the third out. It was a critical juncture in the game. Soler hit the ball hard most of night, even when he made outs. We are going to need him to excel, especially now that it looks as if Jason will be absent from the lineup for a spell. La Stella had a big hit, and originally went to second , but then ran back to first. {Tommy turned a sure double into a single, and did so voluntarily.} Talk about a weird play. Both Arrieta and Fowler arrived at third at same time. Was bad base running, but KB made it all moot when he went yard with two on base.(Earl Weaver would have been proud.)Recall when Pagan hit a routine grounder to La Stella at third and beat it out for a single. Credit Pagan. Given San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the land, I guess it`s not a surprise a beer costs $12. {I can resist everything but temptation, so had I been there at AT&T Park, I`d be purchasing the beer, I`m afraid.} Jake is 8-0, and it`s not a stretch to imagine both the Al and NL Cy Young Award winners for 2016 could very well come from the identical city. That is rare, one would think. Cubs/Giants will be the ESPN Sunday night game.

Yes, k.g. I am well aware that your bride is a Giants` fan, and that`s an amicable rivalry you two have. I admire when folks can agree to disagree. As for ballpark prices at the food stand, aren`t they sometimes outrageous? The last time I was to a game at Yankee Stadium, they were getting $12 for a beer, and that was the game Jeter achieved his 3,000th knock, a few years ago. I would not doubt a beer costs even more these days at the Giants` venue. Peavy has indeed struggled this season, as have many major league hurlers who have excelled in the past. Have you noticed how ‘the Dark Knight” has pooped the bed in New York? Greinke, Price, Keukel (sp?) and one other big name who escapes me at the moment, all have e.r.a.`s more than three runs higher than last season`s. Chris Sale is not one of those underachievers. He`s 9-0, but I digress. Thanks for calling attention to the unique aspects of AT&T Park which the average fan may not be cognizant of, and could affect how this Cubs/Giants series unfolds. Enjoy the game.

Aloha jhosk, I love to share what limited info/ history I know of with others when it comes to this great game! My friend, big baseball and Giants fan just contacted me and asked what is wrong with Lester? I told him Lester is brilliant at times and the opposite other times. To give up so many runs so early is just not good and give an 0-5 pitcher a big chance to win, coming into the game with almost a 6era. I wish the Cubs were not the team giving Cain his confidence back! It is still early, we need to hang there and hope the bats come alive. This is going to be a great test. Take care now. Mahalo!

Thanks for this opportunity to vent, k.g. I was excoriated by Petrey 10 for suggesting that Jon Lester underachieved in 2015. If you subscribe to Petrey 10`s arguments, Jon Lester is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and the hurler can do absolutely nothing wrong, and I`m a numskull for concluding anything less. The truth is pitchers like Kershaw, Arrieta, Sale, Strasburg, King Felix, Fernandez, Scherzer, and some others whom I am certain you can name, because you are a superb student of the game, do not get knocked out before the third inning of games each has started. Each of those pitchers loses games from time to time for circumstances each can`t control. But they do not sh*t the bed, if you will. Lester is an excellent pitcher most times, but he has his negative moments as well, and does not belong in the same category as those pitchers I`ve named. I`ve often said “Cain is able.” But I was referencing the centerfielder for the K.C. Royals each time I said that. Tonight I say that in reference to the Giants` starter.

Aloha jhosk- My wife just had to calm me down. I know it has been a while since I was in the “game,” it is my baseball competitive side. My friend I mentioned above is also part of the senior organization that we volunteer at. We both worked with the Giants and our executive director to have appreciation days for Americans’ of Japanese descent over they years and would give out an award to a MLB player, usually on the Giants but could also be on the opposing team as well. I shared that because my friend and I have been going back and forth today. I said I have a hard time with poorly pitched games because I have played the game, I did stats on the game (up through college), I see the game differently than the average fan. As my friend said to me, most fans in today’s world want to see one team do better than the other, bottom line. I felt bad for Peavy yesterday. Because it takes a team out early in the game. Look what happened today, Lester’s poor performance took the Cubs out early. It is hard to make up that kind of ground especially on the road. I do not want this to be a “negative” post about Lester, I want to be very clear about this. But one thing I expect from a veteran pitcher like Lester and his caliber is to have a better understanding of opposing teams than say a younger pitcher like Joe Ross of the Nationals. Lester has had trouble getting out of an inning/closing it out especially when he has 2 outs and nobody on base. That is what happened today in the 2nd inning with two outs he gave up a base hit then walked the next batter (#7), then Cain came up (Give Bochy credit for doing a Maddon and putting Cain in the #8 slot instead of Pagan). Now anyone who has been around baseball knows, even if Cain is struggling on the mound he is the Giants Wood/Arrieta when it comes to batting. He loves to bat and does it well and in clutch situations. I have seen Cain over the years do this time and time again! My wife and friend said to me that I am an anomaly wanting to see two pitchers “duke it out” and may the best team win. Do not get me wrong, I want the Cubs to win. Now, as much as I was frustrated with Lester today I also thought this could have been a great time for the offense to come together and pick him up. Because in the last two weeks it could said that Lester, Lackey and others have pitched some great games and had no offensive support. The Cubs are now something like 1-11 when losing after the 7/8th inning. This is where I see a great opportunity for growth. The Giants where able to turn things around in 2010 and part of it came from a confidence that down late in a game they could come back and win they did. This Cubs team is going to have adversity and if they want to overcome and get to the next level, they as a team have to be able to win in all scenarios including the one where they are down early and/or late in games. It will build their character and strengthen them as a team. Thank you for letting me vent; I love this team and organization. I am hoping they take the rubber game tomorrow! You take care now. Mahalo!

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