The Chicago Cubs take the field on Thursday to try and avoid being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates in their season opening series.
To say that the Cubs first two games this season have been disappointing would be an understatement. In each of the Cubs first two games, the team has received quality starting pitching from Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson but the offense has failed to cash in as the Cubs have lost in extra innings in both of their first two games this season. Needless to say, the Cubs could have easily won their first two games this season had the team received any type of production from Anthony Rizzo or Starlin Castro. Rizzo hit a home run in the 12th inning of Wednesday’s game but it’s impact was negated when Jose Veras blew the save in the next half inning.
Jason Hammel takes the mound on Thursday for the Cubs and will attempt to end the team’s losing streak at two. Hammel will be making his regular season Cubs debut on Thursday. With the Baltimore Orioles last season, Hammel posted a record of 7-8 to go along with an ERA of 4.97 and a FIP of 4.93 in 23 starts and 3 relief appearances.
Wandy Rodriguez will be the starter for the Pirates. Rodriguez will be the second lefty starting pitcher that the Cubs will have faced in this series. The Cubs were stifled on Monday by the left-handed Francisco Liriano.
Rodriguez had an injury shortened season with the Pirates in 2013 by only making 12 starts. In those 12 starts, Rodriguez posted a record of 6-4 to go along with an ERA of 3.59 and a FIP of 4.42.
Rodriguez won both of his starts against the Cubs last season. In those two starts, Rodriguez had an ERA of 2.13 with Cubs hitters hitting only .178 against him.
Start Time: 11:35 a.m.
Television Information: CSN Chicago, MLB Network
Radio Information: WGN Radio 720 AM
Live Stream: MLB.TV