miller parkThe Chicago Cubs survived a weird one last night after a frustrating and disappointing loss in the opener of this series. By my math, that means today’s matinee is the rubber game of the series. A win today, and the Cubs leave with a Meatloaf, and everyone is happy with a good start to the road trip.

A loss today and getting to that tasty 6-3 mark on this nine-game road swing through Milwaukee, San Francisco, and St. Louis starts to look pretty darn tough.

Jason Hammel starts for the Cubs today, and he’ll look to give them plenty of innings. Thanks to the long one last night, you’ve got to believe Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, and Travis Wood (all over 29 pitches last night) are unavailable. Justin Grimm threw 20 last night, and Adam Warren was at 17. Everyone except Trevor Cahill pitched in the game at some point. There will be enough guys available to finish a normally-lengthed-and-pitched game, but it would still be of great service if Hammel could go at least six. And also, if he could allow zero or negative runs.

Hammel gets a Brewers lineup without Ryan Braun or Jonathan Lucroy, so that should help.

Junior Guerra starts for the Brewers and (*looks up Guerra for the first time ever*) it looks like he’s a 31-year-old journeyman with very limited big league experience, but some solid success so far this year. I won’t pretend to be able to put together a credible scouting report on the guy this morning, so instead I’ll lean on the fact that the Cubs are 0 for their last 23 with runners in scoring position. That won’t last, and I think today they score some runs.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (28-10) at Milwaukee Brewers (17-23), 12:40 CT on CSN, MLBN, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jason Hammel (R): 1.77 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 4.01 xFIP; 2.25 K/BB

versus

Brewers: Junior Guerra: (R): 4.00 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 4.32 xFIP; 2.60 K/BB



Milwaukee Brewers Lineup

1. Jonathan Villar, SS

2. Alex Presley, LF

3. Scooter Gennett, 2B

4. Chris Carter, 1B

5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF

6. Domingo Santana, RF

7. Hernan Perez, 3B

8. Martin Maldonado, C

9. Junior Guerra, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Kris Bryant, 3B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B

6. Jorge Soler, LF

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. Miguel Montero, C

9. Jason Hammel, P




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