Jason Hammel, Cubs begin early N.L. Wild Card battle tonight vs the Giants


The Chicago Cubs witnessed their six-game winning streak come to an end in yesterday’s 7-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates which resulted in them falling a half-game behind the San Francisco Giants for the second spot in the N.L. Wild Card race.

Now, Jason Hammel will welcome the defending World Series Champions at Wrigley Field in hopes of putting together another winning streak while jumping ahead of them in the playoff picture.

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Hammel (6-5, 3.13 ERA) put together a great outing for the Cubs (58-48) during that four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers this past week – holding them to one earned run on six hits while issuing two walks and recording four strikeouts across 5 2/3 innings of work.

The only run of the ballgame from Milwaukee was the solo bomb from outfielder Ryan Braun in the first inning. First baseman Anthony Rizzo extended a streak of his own – homering in his third straight game and his 12th against the Brewers which just so happens to be the most he’s hit vs any team in the league.

Taking the bump opposite Hammel will be 27-year-old rookie, Chris Heston. Heston (11-5, 3.24 ERA) has helped balance out this Giants (59-48) rotation and will be picking up his 23rd career start as a big league player.

In his previous outing while visiting the Texas Rangers, Heston gave up three earned runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 frames. He currently holds a 4-0 record and a 28/15 K/BB ratio in his last seven starts for the Giants.

First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. central time and will air live on CSN, WBBM 780.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineup’s for both clubs:

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