After an off night by the Chicago Cubs pitching staff, they’ll look for Jason Hammel to continue his strong start to the 2016 season in trying to win the series against the Reds
The Chicago Cubs Jason Hammel has done it on the mound and at the plate as his two-run single was the game-winning hit for the Cubs against the Cardinals in his last outing. He squares off against the Cincinnati Reds Alfredo Simon who in his last start against the Cubs retired just two batters after allowing five runs on four hits on April 13.
The Cubs (13-5) will give Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist a rest as Tommy La Stella will get the start at second base and fill the lead-off role. Jason Heyward will slide over to handle center field today with Fowler getting a rest day. Hammel (2-0, 1.00) continues to be a strong pitcher in the first half, which is no surprise to Cubs’ fans. Now it will be interesting to see if the adjustments he made to his mechanics can continue.
Simon (0-1, 12.15) was scratched from his last start for the Reds (9-9) due to biceps tendinitis. If the Cubs have their way again, that tendinitis could be an issue again for the Reds starter. Eugenio Suarez had a big three-run home run last night and has been one of the bright spots for the Reds this season. Hammel will also need to be cautious with Joey Votto who appears to be breaking out of his 1-for-21 slump after a 2-for-5 night with a home run and two RBIs last night.
After homering in three straight games, the Cubs Anthony Rizzo went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout to fall to .185 for the season. Several players have been slow out of the gate for the Cubs but the 13-5 start is their best 18 game start in more than 40 years.
Here are the lineups for today’s series finale:
First pitch will be at 12:10 p.m. CT at Great American Ballpark. WGN will have the television coverage while 670 The Score will as always have the radio broadcast. Be sure to check back for postgame coverage!