Results tagged ‘ Jason Hammel ’
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:
Jason Hammel gave up more runs in one inning than he’s served up in any of his previous starts as the Cubs closed their rain-shortened series against the Cardinals with a 5-3 loss on Thursday. It was an interesting matinee. Anthony Rizzo bunted twice for singles, setting up Starlin Castro’s sixth home run in the fourth inning the second time, Jose Veras returned in relief, and manager Rick Renteria tried not to cough in his battle with a nasty case of bronchitis.
Hammel did not record a quality start for the first time this season. The right-hander struck out the side to start the game, and he finished with six K’s. He scattered five hits and walked two over 5 1/3 innings.
“It’s the kiss of death to strike out the side in the first inning as a starting pitcher — everybody knows that,” Hammel said. “Today was the best physically I felt all year and obviously, it’s the way the game works, and it didn’t work out. My fastball was up. It caught up with me in the second.”
The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the second inning on a double by Yadier Molina and walks to both Allen Craig and Peter Bourjos. Molina scored on Mark Ellis’ groundout to second. Wacha then helped himself with a two-run single and he scored on Matt Carpenter’s double for a 4-0 lead. That prompted a visit from pitching coach Chris Bosio.
Hammel felt good on the mound, but just missed with his pitches at the wrong time.
“I was confident with what I was doing and had a good game plan,” Hammel said. “It was good for three of the five [innings] I was out there and other two was a little bit of a labor.”
Hammel needed 33 pitches to get through the second, but he was able to find his rhythm and retired 10 in a row.
“He wants you to swing at his pitch, kind of nibbles the zone,” St. Louis’ Matt Carpenter said of Hammel. “We did a good job of making him work his pitch count up. We were able to get the big knock, and that’s been the big difference, really, with the season so far, getting guys on and being able to get them in.”
Rizzo bunted for a single for the second time in the game leading off the fourth, beating the Cardinals’ defensive shift. Castro followed with his sixth home run to pull the Cubs within, 4-2. The shortstop now has four homers and 11 RBIs in 18 games since moving to the No. 4 spot in the lineup.
“I like it there,” Castro said of his role as the cleanup man. “I feel pretty good there. I like hitting with men in scoring position. [Renteria] put me there for a reason.”
And Castro would bunt, too, if needed. Rizzo now has three career bunt singles.
“It’s something he’s seen as a mode of maybe off-setting [the shift],” Renteria said. “He’s looking at the game from a lot of different angles. Think about it — you’re down four runs, and a solo home run isn’t going to do a whole lot for you. Why not?”
It’s one way to get teams to stop employing the extreme defensive adjustments against the left-handed hitting first baseman.
“Everyone wants to play these shifts and I have Starlin Castro hitting behind me,” Rizzo said. “If they’re going to give me that, I might as well take it.
“I almost made them pay twice for it,” he said. “Whenever you can get a base runner — Wacha’s a great pitcher and you want to get him in the stretch and try to maybe throw him off a little bit. If teams are going to give me that, I’ll take it all the time.”
Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the eighth against Kevin Siegrist, and tallied a run on Junior Lake’s sacrifice fly against Trevor Rosenthal.
With the loss, the Cubs dropped to 13-26, matching their slowest start through 39 games since 2002.
“You’ve got to look at the positive,” Hammel said of the Cubs. “We’ve played a lot of good ballgames. We’re not getting blown out. It’s not ugly games. It’s one or two pitches here or there, or one or two timely hits that we haven’t gotten. It’s not like we’re just laying down. It’s obviously frustrating but I think we’ve played pretty good ball.”
– Carrie Muskat
There is rain in the forecast Thursday but it’s sunny now in St. Louis for the Cubs’ series finale against the Cardinals. Here’s the lineup:
Weather permitting, the Cubs will play the third game of their four-game series against the Cardinals on Wednesday at Busch Stadium. However, there is an 80 percent chance of rain, and it has rained all day in St. Louis. Here’s the lineup:
Hammel will try to post his eighth consecutive quality start.
The Cubs open a four-game series in St. Louis Monday night. Here are the pitching matchups:
Monday: LHP Travis Wood (2-4, 4.75) vs. LHP Tyler Lyons (0-2, 3.43)
Tuesday: RHP Jake Arrieta (0-0, 2.89) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (6-2, 2.02)
Wednesday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.45) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (2-3, 2.85)
Thursday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-3, 1.45) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (4-2, 3.83)
* The Cubs’ 12-24 record is the slowest start through 36 games since they were 11-25 in 1997. That team lost its first 14 games of the season. This year, the Cubs have lost at least 24 of their first 36 games for the third time in the last 33 seasons (1994, ’97 and 2014).
* Cubs pitchers have 21 quality starts but only six individual wins from starters in those games. Cubs starters have as many wins as losses when recording a quality start (6-6) to go with nine no-decisions. The Cubs are 7-14 in those quality starts despite a 2.06 ERA from the starting pitchers.
* Samardzija and Hammel are tied for fourth in MLB in quality starts (seven each).
* Here’s a bizarre stat: The Cubs have not had a starting pitcher throw at least six innings and give up more than three earned runs and notch a win since Matt Garza on June 16, 2011 (six innings, five earned runs in a 12-7 win over the Brewers).
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:
– Carrie Muskat
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)