After right-hander Kyle Hendricks cruised through this dangerous Texas Rangers lineup to open up the second half of the season, Jason Hammel was called upon the mound for the Chicago Cubs. Hammel received run support from his first baseman in the win.
Ever since the Chicago Cubs returned from the All-Star break, they have been playing fantastic baseball to end their slump. Getting ahead and beating the best team in the American League definitely feels good and now there is a chance of a sweep tomorrow afternoon with John Lackey on the mound.
Hammel (8-5, 3.34 ERA) was absolutely lights out on the mound considering the fact that he was squaring up against Japenese phenom, Yu Darvish. Jason surrendered only one earned run on three hits while issuing one walk, and recording seven strikeouts in six innings of work.
Today’s victory over the Rangers (54-38) was the first for Hammel since June 4. I’m sure Jason is giving his offense and defense some high praises after helping him end his winless skid that lasted a little over a month.
More from Chicago Cubs News
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
Their lead wouldn’t last long. Miguel Montero started off the home half of the third inning with a five-pitch walk, giving Chicago their second base runner of the afternoon. Shortly after Hammel struck out swinging, Tommy La Stella slapped a pitch out to right field, moving Miggy into scoring position.
This brought up the heart of this order to the plate, starting with Kris Bryant. Bryant homered off Chris Sale in the All-Star game but failed to do anything with Montero standing on second when he struck out swinging for the second out of the frame.
Which wasn’t a big deal since first baseman Anthony Rizzo came through with a two-run double down the right-field line — his 25th extra base knock that not only tied the game but handed Chicago a one-run lead in the process.
Outfielder Matt Szczur entered the game as a pinch-hitter, for the second straight game, and delivered with a RBI base knock for the second straight game. Szczur turned on the first pitch of his at-bat and sent it out to center field, sending Jason Heyward rounding third and cross home plate.
Hector Rondon entered the game in the ninth and closed things out for his 15th save of the campaign.