Results tagged ‘ Jason Hammel ’

5/9 Extra bases

I’m not in Atlanta this weekend, but there will be Cubs coverage on Cubs.com. if you want Twitter updates, follow @Joe_Morgan, who is filling in.

Here are some notes:

* The Cubs were 1-5 against the Braves last year, including 0-3 at Turner Field.

* Mike Olt leads NL rookies with six home runs and 16 RBIs. Olt’s grand slam on Thursday was the fourth by a Cubs rookie in the last 13 seasons. The others since 2002 include Jake Fox (2009), Anthony Rizzo (2012) and Junior Lake (2013).

* Cubs batters were hit by a pitch four times Thursday night. It’s the second time since 1914 that Cubs batters reached via a hit batter that many times in a game. It also happened June 3, 2003, against Tampa Bay

* Jason Hammel ranks third in MLB with a 0.81 WHIP. he’s walked nine and given up 24 hits over 40 2/3 innings.

Cubs Friday lineup:

Bonifacio CF
Kalish LF
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Schierholtz RF
Valbuena 2B
Olt 3B
Baker C
Hammel P

– Carrie Muskat

5/8 Early extra bases

Some early Cubs notes prior to Thursday’s series finale vs. the White Sox:

* The Cubs have 10 home games this month, compared to 18 road games. They previously had 10 home contests in a calendar month in April last season. The Cubs last had fewer than 10 home games in a month in June 2009, with eight of 25 games at home.

* Cubs starting pitchers recorded a 2.22 ERA (13 ER/52 2/3 IP) in eight games from April 27 through Tuesday before the White Sox last night scored eight runs in 4 innings against Travis Wood. Still, Chicago’s starters have pitched into the sixth in nine of their last 10 games since April 26.

* Since moving to the No. 4 spot of the lineup, April 25, Starlin Castro is hitting .302 (13-for-43) with three doubles, two homers and five RBI in 11 games. He has an .859 OPS in this stretch.

* Looking ahead to Cubs at Braves:

Friday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.43) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (2-2, 1.80)
Saturday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-3, 1.62) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (3-0, 2.41)
Sunday: RHP Edwin Jackson (2-2, 4.57) vs. LHP Alex Wood (2-5, 3.00)

5/5 Throwback uniforms

Uni1929

In case you missed it, here is Jason Hammel in the 1929 retro uniform the Cubs wore Sunday night.

4/28 Trading chips – UPDATED

Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija have both posted quality starts in each of their outings this year, and Hammel improved to 4-1 with a win Sunday over the Brewers. But their success has made them attractive to several other teams. A Cubs spokesman said Monday they have not received calls about the two right-handers or lefty Travis Wood. The trio will likely draw interest leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline. Samardzija (1.53) and Hammel (2.08) rank seventh and 12th, respectively, in the NL in ERA, while Wood has posted quality starts in three of his five outings and has a 3.52 ERA.

Hammel signed a one-year contract in February before pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training. He has said since camp started that every pitcher wants to stay with one team. Would he consider an extension if the Cubs offered one?

“That’s crazy to even bring that up,” Hammel said after Sunday’s win in Milwaukee. “Every player wants to stay in a place for a long time but I’m not thinking about that.”

He’s not thinking about being traded either, but that’s been the Cubs’ trend the last two summers. Last year, it was Scott Feldman and Matt Garza who were dealt by the Trade Deadline.

Hammel is focused on the Cubs right now.

“I just want to win,” Hammel said. “We’re learning how to do that now.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/27 Cubs 4, Brewers 0

* Jason Hammel wrapped up a stellar April with another quality start in the Cubs’ 4-0 win over the Brewers. He had a no-hitter through five innings, and then Carlos Gomez doubled with one out in the sixth. What happened? Hammel said he forgot the signs.

“He forgot,” catcher John 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.”

The last Cubs no-hitter was at Miller Park when Carlos Zambrano shutdown the Astros in September 2008.

“This is a tough ballpark to throw a no-hitter in,” said Hammel, whose career best is a one-hitter. “The ball flies in deep parts of the field. I was thinking about it, but the ‘W’ is first and foremost.”

Manager Rick Renteria agreed. How much did the Cubs need this win?

“A lot. Absolutely,” Renteria said. “You need a little bit of a confidence boost to let yourself know that hey, you’re still in there, you can still play, you can still win ballgames, you can still go out there and execute and still go out there and put yourself in a position to have a chance to win, and today we did.”

* Starlin Castro provided the offense, hitting a pair of solo home runs. He now has four homers this season, and has hit them in two games.

“I’m really happy because I think I have my mind really strong after last year,” Castro said. “I feel happy when I go to home plate and I trust myself. That’s the reason didn’t [have success] last year. Now I go and trust myself.”

* The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Cubs.

– Carrie Muskat

4/22 Cubs lineup

Jason Hammel gets the start Tuesday night when the Cubs play host to the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. Luis Valbuena will lead off for the first time this season, while Emilio Bonifacio sits. Here’s the lineup:

Valbuena 2B
Ruggiano CF
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Castro SS
Olt 3B
Lake LF
Baker C
Hammel P

4/14 Hammel starts Interleague play

The Cubs play the Yankees on Tuesday, the first of eight Interleague series this season, and Jason Hammel will get it started. Hammel is well-versed in the Yankees, having faced them 17 times while pitching for the Rays and Orioles. He’s pitched at both old and new Yankee Stadium, too.

“They’ve always been a team that is very patient and a lot of their guys at the top and the bottom of the order just battle and put the ball in play,” Hammel said.

His last outing vs the Yankees was July 7 when he threw 102 pitches over five innings, giving up six hits and one run, while with the Orioles.

“I think I had 25-something foul balls,” he said. “My pitch count was done in like the fourth inning.”

The Yankees may not have reached the postseason last year, but Hammel knows not to overlook them.

“They’re a perennial powerhouse and find a way to win and the organization is committed to their players, that’s how they do it,” Hammel said. “That being said, there’s still a way to beat them. I’ve faced them many times and had some success. You just have to keep the ball down there.”

So, which does he prefer, the old or new version of Yankee Stadium?

“Old Yankee Stadium, I still have that as my top stadium,” he said. “I love Fenway — I live in Massachusetts now, and love going to Fenway — but the feeling you got when you walk on the mound of the old stadium was something else. You felt like you were in the middle of nowhere because of the way their first level seating went way back and wasn’t really staggered and it felt so cool.

“Now it’s different,” he said. “It’s the same size but it almost has lost the intimidation factor because you see the young teams like the Rays and Orioles now contending over there. You go in there and you know you can beat them. Before, you’d go into Yankee Stadium [and be happy] to take one.”

This series will mark the Cubs’ first-ever regular season games at new Yankee Stadium, the 122nd different ballpark in which the team will have played. After Tuesday, the Cubs will have played a regular-season game in every current Major League city and a game in every active ballpark.

The Cubs did play the first two games in the history of new Yankee Stadium, however, when the teams met in exhibition action prior to 2009. The Yankees won both games.

Heading into this season, the Cubs have played in three ballparks for the first time in the last two seasons, including O.co Coliseum in Oakland in 2013 as well as Marlins Stadium and Target Field in 2013.

Hammel hopes some of the young Cubs who have never played at Yankee Stadium aren’t overwhelmed.

“It’s awe inspiring when you walk in there [to new Yankee Stadium] because everything is so big and modern and exciting to play there,” he said. “It’s one of those bucket list-type places. Yankee Stadium, it’s an eye opener and so much fun to be there.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/10 About last night …

Jason Hammel picked up the win on Wednesday night for the Cubs against the Pirates, his second straight against Pittsburgh.

“He’s pitching well, hitting spots, mixing pitches well,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of the right-hander. “We couldn’t get a lot done off him. A good effective outing for him. We wanted to counter-punch better than we were able to, and sometimes you’ve got to tip your hat to the pitcher. Two consecutive outings, he’s made pitches. To right-handers, basically sinker-slider, to left-handers, mixes in the curve and the change up, makes him a four-pitch guy. We haven’t been able to throw too many punches at him.”

Hammel’s next start will be Tuesday in New York against the Yankees.

4/9 Cubs lineup

Jason Hammel makes his first start at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night as the Cubs play the Pirates in the second game of their three-game series. The Cubs will be facing Wandy Rodriguez for the second time this season, and beat him last week at PNC Park. If you’ve paid attention to Rick Renteria’s lineup, you’ll recognize this as the one he uses vs. left-handed starters. Here you go:

Bonfacio CF
Castro SS
Ruggiano RF
Rizzo 1B
Olt 3B
Lake LF
Castillo C
Barney 2B
Hammel P

4/3 Cubs 3, Pirates 2

The Cubs apparently play better on less sleep. Mike Olt hit his first Major League home run to help Jason Hammel win his Cubs debut and post a 3-2 victory Thursday over the Pirates, giving Chicago manager Rick Renteria his first victory.

There was no beer shower or champagne bottle waiting for Renteria but he was soaked because of the rain that started late in the game and drenched his lineup card and game notes.

“I was hoping the water would cleanse me a little bit,” he said.

The win came after the Cubs opened with two extra-innings losses, including Wednesday’s 16-inning marathon that ended shortly after 1 a.m. ET Thursday. It was a quick turnaround for the 12:35 p.m. start in the series finale.

Hammel wanted to finish the game. The right-hander, who signed a one-year, $6 million deal in February, days before pitchers and catchers reported, held the Pirates to two hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out five. The Cubs bullpen was short-handed because of the extra innings the night before.

“I was pretty surprised the way I was moving through the game,” Hammel said. “I wanted to complete it and take it as far as I could have.”

Emilio Bonifacio can apparently fall out of bed and hit. He led off the game with a single, his 10th hit in his 13th at-bat, then stole second, and two outs later, scored on Anthony Rizzo’s single.

“He’s on fire and hopefully he continues,” Renteria said of Bonifacio, now 11-for-16 for the season. “We’re seeing a lot of guys have good at-bats. We had some balls hit well. We’re on the right track.”

Bonifacio remembers a hot streak like this when he played for the Marlins in 2009.

“I’m just swinging at strikes,” he said. “That’s the main difference.”

Bonifacio doubled to open the third, and scored one batter later when Justin Ruggiano grounded into a double play. When Bonifacio grounded out in the fifth, the crowd of 11,418 at PNC Park cheered. Finally.

“I was laughing — it was funny,” Bonifacio said. “That’s part of the game.”

Olt, who hoped to continue his spring comeback story this season, made it 2-0 with a leadoff home run in the second off Wandy Rodriguez, hitting an opposite-field shot to right for his first big league homer. He showed exactly what the Cubs — and most likely the Rangers — were hoping for. Chicago acquired the third baseman last July; he’d struggled with vision problems which apparently have cleared up.

“That ball, down and away, to hit it the other way with some power, it shows you the kind of thump he has in his stick,” Renteria said of Olt.

“It’s not that I go out there trying for [home runs],” Olt said, “but it was nice to get the first hit out of the way and that it happened to be a home run makes it a little sweeter.”

Now, the Cubs head home 1-2.

“We didn’t want to go home 0-3,” Bonifacio said. “We just played two really good games. This win was really important for us.”

Friday will be the Cubs’ home opener. Renteria has yet to see his office at Wrigley Field.

“I didn’t think it was going to be such a relief [to get the win] but it’s quite a relief, quite honestly,” Renteria said.

– Carrie Muskat

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