Results tagged ‘ Jason Hammel ’
* Anthony Rizzo posted his fifth career multi-homer game on Saturday, hitting a pair of two-run homers. It’s his first multi-homer game since Aug. 21, against the Nationals.
* Jason Hammel has thrown 14 scoreless innings at Miller Park in two starts, and struck out 15 over that stretch.
* Since May 12, the Cubs bullpen has a 1.96 ERA, giving up 12 runs over 55 1/3 innings.
* Jeff Samardzija faces Kyle Lohse on Sunday in the series finale.
One day after getting a breather for the first time this season, Anthony Rizzo crushed a pair of two-run homers on Saturday to back Jason Hammel and lift the Cubs to an 8-0 victory over the Brewers in front of a sellout crowd of 42,332 at Miller Park.
Hammel continued his love affair with Miller Park. When he most recently pitched here on April 27, he did not give up a hit until one out into the sixth. The Brewers didn’t wait that long Saturday, collecting a single with two outs in the first, but they mustered only four hits off the right-hander over seven innings.
“He set the tone and gave us seven really, really good innings,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “He kept the ball down, mixed up his pitches, very calm, very poised. He’s a veteran. He commands his emotions and is very meticulous in his preparations and just attacks the hitters.”
Whether the right-hander will still be pitching for the Cubs after the Trade Deadline remains to be seen.
“I know my own value,” Hammel said. “My value is here for the Cubs and that’s the way I see it. I’m not going to play into the trade talk — it is what it is. The only way you can’t get traded in baseball is if you have a no-trade clause. It can happen to anybody.”
Rizzo apparently benefitted from the respite. Emilio Bonifacio singled to lead off the Chicago fourth, and he was safe at second on Junior Lake’s grounder despite a challenge from Roenicke. Rizzo then smacked a 3-2 pitch from Wily Peralta into the right-field seats for his ninth homer and a 2-0 lead.
“Having a day off is kind of weird,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do with myself.”
He knew what to do at the plate. Hammel singled to lead off the Chicago sixth, and two outs later, Rizzo launched his second homer of the game, again off a 3-2 pitch from Peralta, to put the Cubs ahead, 4-0. It was Rizzo’s fifth career multihomer game and his first since Aug. 21 against the Nationals.
Starlin Castro followed Rizzo with a double, and Nate Schierholtz walked to chase Peralta. Zach Duke took over and served up RBI singles to Chris Coghlan and Baker, as well as an RBI double to Barney as Chicago opened a 7-0 lead.
– Carrie Muskat
Anthony Rizzo is back after a one-game break. Jason Hammel gets the start against the Brewers at Miller Park. Here’s the lineup:
* Jason Hammel enters today’s start with a 0.90 WHIP, third-lowest in MLB, and trailing the Reds’ Johnny Cueto (0.75) and the Giants’ Tim Hudson (0.88). The last time Hammel pitched at Miller Park was April 27. In that game, he had a no-hitter with one out in the sixth when he had a brain cramp and forgot the signs. Carlos Gomez doubled for the first of three Milwaukee hits. The Cubs held on for a 4-0 win.
“Honestly, when guys say they weren’t thinking of [a no-hitter], they’re lying through their teeth,” Hammel said after the game. “I was, too, but I don’t really care. I was more frustrated with what happened in the sixth. I screwed myself going back and forth with signs. … Basically, I mixed myself up and lost my rhythm. The no-hit problem was my fault.”
Cubs catcher John Baker could only shake his head, then laugh.
“He forgot,” Baker said of Hammel during Gomez’s at-bat. “We were laughing about it, and so of course, he gave up a hit. It cost me a watch. I should’ve figured out a way to use my mind to give him the signs with telepathy but that didn’t work.”
* After batting .273 in nine games from May 11-21, the Cubs were hitting .207 in eight games on this road trip, including a .238 mark with RISP.
* The Cubs have scored three runs or less in 30 of their 52 games (58 percent), and are 4-26 when scoring three runs or less, and 0-19 when scoring two runs or less.
* The Cubs today close out May, and enter with a 10-16 record for the month. Last year, they were 13-14 in May. The Cubs have had two three-game winning streaks during the month (counting the April 30 win), but have had four losing streaks of at least three games, including their current slide.
Anthony Rizzo is tied for the third in the NL with 20 walks this month. Luis Valbuena’s .295 batting average (23-for-78) leads the club in May while Mike Olt’s five homers and Junior Lake’s 15 RBI have paced the club.
Travis Wood leads the team with four victories this month. Neil Ramirez has posted a 0.93 ERA (1 ER/9.2 IP) in 11 contests this month.
– Carrie Muskat
Jason Hammel still had the seam marks on his right hand to prove the Cubs pitcher was struck by Brett Gardner’s line drive on Tuesday night. Gardner was the Yankees’ leadoff man, and it wasn’t a good way to start the game.
“When it hit me, I thought my hand exploded,” Hammel said Wednesday.
But the right-hander stayed in the game, and went 5 2/3 innings in a 6-1 win over the Yankees. On Wednesday, he arrived late at the clubhouse because he could only pack for the team’s road trip with his left hand. X-rays taken Tuesday were negative, and Hammel pronounced he was good to go for his next start Sunday against the Padres.
“It’s just swollen,” he said. “I would assume a couple days of soreness. I think it’ll be all right.”
Manager Rick Renteria said it was “scary” to watch Hammel get struck with the liner, and was encouraged after talking to the pitcher Wednesday.
“He feels better than he thought he would and the swelling isn’t as significant as he thought it would be,” Renteria said. “Fortunately, for us he’s a gamer. He stayed in there.”
– Carrie Muskat
Jason Hammel is well aware of the Cubs’ trend to deal players at the Trade Deadline for prospects. He’s not worried.
“I could care less,” Hammel said. “I’m wearing blue pinstripes right now and I’m excited to be here. I don’t think about that kind of stuff. I’ve been around long enough to where it’s part of the game. I want to be here. I want to pitch here. I want to win here. For right now, that’s all that matters to me.”
– Carrie Muskat
After Wednesday’s game, the Cubs head west to play a four-game series against the Padres. Here are the pitching matchups:
Thursday: RHP Jake Arrieta (0-0, 2.70) vs. LHP Eric Stults (2-4, 4.50)
Friday: RHP Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.98) vs. LHP Robbie Erlin (3-4, 4.53)
Saturday: LHP Travis Wood (4-4, 4.61) vs. TBD
Sunday: RHP Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.91) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (2-6, 3.79)
On Tuesday night, the Cubs became the first team to face Masahiro Tanaka twice in the big leagues. They also are the first to beat the Yankees’ pitcher in 43 regular-season starts between the U.S. and Japan. Rookie Mike Olt drove in three runs, and Emilio Bonifacio and Starlin Castro each added RBI singles to lift the Cubs to a 6-1 Interleague victory over the Yankees and hand Tanaka his first regular-season loss since Aug. 19, 2012.
“We really executed,” Cubs catcher John Baker said. “Me and [Jason] Hammel were joking that Floyd Mayweather may lose now. We beat the Mayweather of baseball today.”
Mayweather, in case you don’t know, is a professional boxer who is unbeaten in 46 fights.
When Chicago faced Tanaka on April 16 at Yankee Stadium, he struck out 10 over eight shutout innings. What were the Cubs looking for this time?
“That split,” manager Rick Renteria said prior to the game Tuesday. “[Hitters] see it as a fastball, and it ends up dropping off the table. Obviously, he’s been a championship pitcher in Japan. There’s no surprise that he has the poise, and obviously, his stuff is really good.”
What the Cubs wanted was to get Tanaka to throw up in the zone.
“That split comes in at the knee or above the knee, lower thigh, and it looks like a really good pitch,” Renteria said. “You have to make him get the ball up. He’s a guy you have to try to force to see if you can make him throw a lot of pitches.”
It worked. Tanaka had gone 42 consecutive starts without a regular-season loss, and this was his first defeat since he was pitching for the Rakuten Golden Eagles. The four runs off the right-hander were the most he’s given up this season.
“We watched a lot of video,” Baker said, “and saw him striking out a lot of the best hitters in baseball and making people look foolish, and a lot of us here already had that experience, swinging and laughing and looking in the dugout, like ‘What the heck was that pitch?'”
Tanaka didn’t think the Cubs had an edge.
“I don’t look at it that way,” he said. “I think all my pitches, they went to locations which were easy for the batters to hit.”
Hammel survived a liner off his right hand in the first inning, and is now 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA in four starts at Wrigley Field.
– Carrie Muskat
Cubs manager Rick Renteria says he doesn’t listen to all the trade rumors, even though two of his pitchers, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, will likely be mentioned often.
“I’ll be honest, I really don’t concern myself with that too much,” Renteria said. “I can only control what I have before me.”
Jeff Samardzija will try for his first win of the season on Wednesday against a team that might be interested in acquiring him.
“Just because he hasn’t had the victories at the end of his scoreline, doesn’t mean he hasn’t pitched victoriously,” Renteria said of Samardzija, who is 0-1 with a 1.62 ERA, second best in the National League. “He’s pitched great. He’s mature, he’s a man who knows he’s doing what he can do, controlling what he can control, and every single time he takes the ball, he’ll try to do the same thing. Most people keep asking me if he’s getting frustrated. I see a guy going out there every single day who is as professional as I can depict any person being and knowing he can only do what he can do.”
Does Renteria need to talk to Samardzija or Jason Hammel, who also could be trade bait, about dealing with the rumors? The Cubs manager says no, and that both pitchers are “in a pretty good place.”
“If anybody has shown resiliency, it’s Jeff,” he said.
– Carrie Muskat
Jason Hammel starts Tuesday night when the Cubs face the Yankees in a brief two-game Interleague series. The Yankees swept the Cubs in a day-night doubleheader in April at Yankee Stadium. New York will counter with Masahiro Tanaka, who is 6-0 with a 2.17 ERA.
This is the third time the Cubs have hosted the Yankees at Wrigley since the 1938 World Series.
Here’s the lineup: