Jason Hammel (15-10, 3.83 ERA) looked seriously terrible today. There’s no way to sugar coat it. He last only 2 1/3 innings and gave up six runs in doing so. The hole that was dug was far too deep for the Cubs (98-56) to do anything about. The Cardinals win big today by the score of 10-4 (Box Score).
I really don’t want to dwell on Jason’s performance because, in general, he’s had a very good season. It’s unfortunate for him because I think, if anything, this performance very likely seals his fate. Meaning, the odds are heavily against him making the roster, as in 99.9% likelihood. He’s fallen apart in several games over the last month and a half and there’s no way you risk putting him in during the playoffs. In four games started in September, he has a 8.71 ERA. Ouch.
The Cubs ended up rotating through 8 pitchers in today’s game. Notable, other than the Hammel implosion, was Hector Rondon’s outing. He gave up three runs on three hits and got pulled after he could only get one out in the top of the seventh inning.
Offensively, the Cubs did well in the first two innings and made it close enough to feel like they might be able to steal the game. The score was 5-3 after two innings. The Cubs got two runs in the top of the first inning when Ben Zobrist tripled to drive in Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant. They got one more run in the bottom of the second inning when Dexter Fowler doubled to score Jorge Soler. Willson Contreras also went deep in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap off the Cubs scoring.
Stats that matter
- Hammel was not good – 2.1IP, 6R, 6H, 1BB, 2Ks, HR
- Rondon was not particularly good either – 0.1IP, 3R, 3H, 1BB
- Dex had another nice day at the plate – 3-for-5, 1R, 1RBI, 2B, 3B
- Ben Zobrist played well – 1-for-2, 2RBI, 1BB, 3B
- Willson Contreras hit a long ball and that’s always nice – 2-for-4, 1R, 1RBI, HR
Not too much to say about or dwell on in this one. I feel for Hammel since there’s no doubt he’s got much higher expectations for himself than compared to how he’s performed lately. It just seems like he may not have the stamina to withstand all the innings required over a full season as a starting pitcher. Not sure what else to say about it.
The Cubs close out the series on Sunday at 7:08 PM CT with their last regular season home game. It seems like just yesterday when the Cubs were getting ready to play the Reds in the season opener. Wow, how time flies! Jon Lester will take the mound for the Cubs.