National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, June 11
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (26-36) at Pittsburgh Pirates (30-34), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jason Hammel (6-3, 2.53)
Pittsburgh - Brandon Cumpton (1-2, 6.51)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Surprise early-season star Jason Hammel carries a 14-
inning scoreless streak into his Wednesday night assignment, which has his
Chicago Cubs visiting PNC Park for the third game of a four-game series with
the host Pittsburgh Pirates.
The veteran has pitched with four teams in nine big-league seasons and won
seven times in 26 appearances with the Cubs last year, but his first 12 starts
of 2014 have yielded the second-lowest opposition batting average in the major
leagues (.191) along with the second-lowest percentage of walks and hits per
inning pitched (0.88).
He's also not given up a home run in eight starts.
In his last start, on Friday against Miami, Hammel threw seven scoreless
innings and struck out eight batters in a game the Cubs ultimately won, 5-3,
in 13 innings.
He's 4-0 in his last nine starts against the Pirates and has already bested
them twice this season, allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings on April 3, then
giving up three runs in seven innings on April 9.
Pittsburgh enters a day after its Tuesday starter, Francisco Liriano, left
after just four innings against the Cubs due to left-side discomfort.
Starting Wednesday is youngster Brandon Cumpton, who defeated Milwaukee with 5
1/3 innings of three-run ball on Friday. It marked a nice recovery from his
previous outing, in which he was raked for 11 runs against the Los Angeles
Foes have hit .211 against him in their first at-bats, but .387 from then on.
He has never faced the Cubs.
On Tuesday, Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBI as
the Cubs beat the Pirates, 7-3.
Rizzo also collected two doubles and scored three runs, while Luis Valbuena
drove in a pair of runs for the Cubs. Chicago starter Travis Wood (6-5), who
came in with a league-worst 8.04 ERA on the road, tossed a solid 6 2/3
innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks.
Pirates top prospect Gregory Polanco made his long-awaited major league debut,
going 1-for-5 with a single and a run scored. Andrew McCutchen smashed a two-
run home run for the Pirates. Casey Sadler (0-1) was tagged for four runs on
four hits in just 2 2/3 innings of relief to absorb the loss.
The Pirates have won five of eight versus the Cubs this season.
06/11 10:40:20 ET