Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hammel to face ex-team Rockies for first time

 Jason Hammel pitched for the Rockies from 2009-11 but has never faced them. On Saturday, Hammel will do just that, when he starts for the Cubs in the second game of their three-game series at Coors Field.
This will be Hammel's season debut, and the right-hander has a career 13-14 record and 4.95 ERA at Coors Field.
The Cubs went 5-2 last season against the Rockies, but they didn't have Troy Tulowitzki, who was sidelined with an injury. In the series opener Friday, Tulowitzki delivered a tiebreaking two-run double.
Three things to know for this game
1. The Cubs' bullpen took a hit when Justin Grimm went on the disabled list Friday with a strained right forearm. Grimm led the team in appearances last year, pitching in 73 games. The Cubs called up right-hander Brian Schlitter from Triple-A Iowa to take Grimm's place.
2. Rockies right-hander Kyle Kendrick enjoys a hitter's park. In eight years with the Phillies, he was 39-36 with a 4.39 ERA at Citizens Bank Park. Making the switch to Coors Field in free agency didn't daunt Kendrick. In seven games (six starts) as a visitor at Coors, Kendrick is 1-1 with a 5.26 ERA.
3. Expect Justin Morneau back in the Rockies' starting lineup at first base. Against Hammel, he's batting .455 (5-for-11), and all the hits were doubles.

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