Hammel’s eight shutout innings leads Cubs to 4-0 win
Jason Hammel was looking for a little payback in this rematch from last week, and he did more than that. Hammel went through the Pittsburgh Pirates like a hot knife through butter as he pitched eight innings of shutout baseball. He got all the offense he needed from his teammates in the bottom of the third inning as the Cubs would go on to defeat the Pirates, 4-0.
With two outs and two on for all-star Anthony Rizzo – he double in Dexter Fowler for the first run of the game. Kris Bryant would follow that up with a hard-hit line drive to center field and score both Jorge Soler and Rizzo to give the Chicago Cubs a 3-0 lead after three innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, Rizzo would do it again for the Cubs – this time with a two-out single to score Addison Russell for a 4-0 Cubs lead after five in the books.
Hammel dominated the top of the order of the Pittsburgh Pirates as the one-through-six hitters combined 1-for-23 and struck out seven times. Vance Worley (2-2, 4.50 ERA) exited the game after six innings as he was charged with all four Chicago runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
Hammel finished the game pitching eight innings of scoreless baseball, allowing only four hits, registering seven strikeouts, and no walks allowed. You couldn’t have asked for a better start from your No.3 starter.
Pedro Strop came into the ninth for relief and put down the Pirates in order to secure the win for the Cubs by a score of 4-0.
The win gives the Chicago Cubs an 11-7 record – they have now won three in a row and find themselves only a game out of first place. The Pittsburgh Pirates fall to 11-9 now on the season – one game behind the second place Cubs, and two behind the first place Cardinals. The loss also snapped Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak.
What Stood Out:
You can’t say enough about Jason Hammel‘s performance tonight. With the win tonight, he is now 2-1 on the season. The eight shutout innings dropped his ERA to 3.55 on the season. He bounced back nicely from last week’s game against these same Pirates.
Jorge Soler broke out of his slump where he was hitless in four straight games (0-for-15) with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate with his fourth double of the year and a run scored.
Anthony Rizzo, who continues to get on base, also had a nice game going 2-for-3 with two RBI, a run scored, and another walk. He’s slashing .344/.494/.508 line on the season for the Chicago Cubs.
Kris Bryant also added two hits and two runs batted in for the Cubs.
What is Next:
Tomorrow night’s Chicago Cubs (11-7) game is the second of the three-game set vs. The Pittsburgh Pirates (11-9) and it will feature a pitching match-up of Travis Wood (1-1, 3.24 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (2-0, 3.32 ERA).
Wood’s last outing was against the Pirates – he pitched five innings and allowed three runs. Wood’s lone win of the early season came at Wrigley Field against the Reds.
Lock’s last game was also against the Cubs last Thursday where he pitched five innings, allowing four runs, but he struck out seven. The lefty is 1-1 in six career games vs. the Chicago Cubs with a 4.32 ERA.
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm central time.