Cubs

Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel surprised with a 6-foot stack of chips at his locker

Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel surprised with a 6-foot stack of chips at his locker

Jason Hammel will have no trouble sticking to his new "PCP" diet.

The Cubs veteran starter was surprised with a six-foot stack of boxes filled with chips in front of his locker Wednesday morning, which will help him satisfy his new "Potato Chip Prescription."

Hammel said after his start Saturday he was prescribed potato chips by his doctor to help combat cramps that have plagued him over the past couple months. The potassium and salt in the chips help make them an unconventional "healthy" snack, at least in regards to Hammel's needs.

[WATCH: Joe Maddon says Jason Hammel has 'perfect excuse' to eat chips]

utz chips delivered five boxes to Hammel's locker with a note. Hammel mentioned the brand name to reporters off the cuff Saturday and then Tweeted out a photo of their chips:

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is all for the "PCP" diet.

"If it's working for him, I'm all about that," Maddon said. "What male does not look for an excuse to eat more potato chips?"

Hammel slimmed down in the offseason in an effort to stay consistent and durable and avoid the second-half issues that have hampered him the last two years.

He reiterated these chips are not a part of his regular diet, just a snack, so he's not planning on putting the pounds back on anytime soon.

"The misconception here is all I do is eat chips," Hammel deadpanned. "I made a commitment this offseason. This is very, very ironic that I'm standing next to boxes of chips. You make that commitment in the offseason to change the diet. Like I said, I'm obviously not eating chips for every meal, every snack."

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

Hammel joked he should mention as many brand names as he can from now on to get more free stuff and said he should get the doctor to prescribe him steak or pizza now, too.

But he was careful to assure the Chicago media he would not be marketing beer now, alluding to the beer and fried chicken drama during Theo Epstein's last year with the Boston Red Sox (of which Hammel's current teammates Jon Lester and John Lackey were caught smack in the middle of).

"We've already had troubles with stuff in the past," Hammel said. "We don't wanna do that. No beer and chicken wings."

Hammel also joked he has so many chips now, he can take a "chip bath" instead of an ice bath after outings.

As for staying consistent down the stretch, Hammel is focused on more than just his diet.

"I want to continue to focus on the thought process," he said. "It's very important to go pitch-by-pitch and go game-by-game. Not getting too far ahead of myself. In the past, it was trying to make up for bad games by thinking ahead for a month. 'This is what I have to do to fix this or recoup from it.'

"I had the game in New York and obviously it was a disaster," Hammel continued, referecing his start against the Mets in which he surrendered 10 earned runs. "But like I said, I'm gonna make this one disappear. Just forget about it and move on. Stick with that thought process and continue to go pitch-by-pitch."

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 32nd homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 32nd homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa victimized the Tigers pitching staff again on the next night, taking Brian Moehler deep in the 7th inning for a 400-foot solo blast.

The homer tied the game at 3, but the Cubs blew the lead in the bottom of the 7th when the Terrys (Adams and Mulholland) gave up 3 runs. The Cubs wound up losing 6-4.

The Cubs were putting together a really nice season in 1998 that ended with a trip to October. They entered the series with the Tigers with a 42-34 record, yet lost both games to a Detroit team that entered the series with a 28-45 record. The Tigers finished the season 65-94; the Cubs finished 90-73.

Fun fact: Luis Gonzalez was the Tigers left fielder and No. 5 hitter for both games of the series. He spent part of the 1995 season and all of '96 on Chicago's North Side. 1998 was his only year in Detroit before he moved on to Arizona, where he hit 57 homers in 2001 and helped the Diamondbacks to a World Series championship with that famous broken-bat single in Game 7.

Fun fact  No. 2: Remember Pedro Valdes? He only had a cup of coffee with the Cubs (9 games in 1996 and 14 in '98), but started in left field on June 25, 1998. He walked and went 0-for-1 before being removed from the game for a pinch-hitter (Jose Hernandez).

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

The Cubs and their fans may want to invent and use one of those Men In Black neuralyzers because the four-game series in Cincinnati was one to forget.

The Reds finished off a four-game sweep of the Cubs on Sunday with an 8-6 win. The way the Reds won the finale will be especially painful for the Cubs considering they led 6-1 after six innings. Mike Montgomery appeared to tire in the seventh inning and Pedro Strop got rocked out of the bullpen to lead to a seven-run seventh for the hosts.

The Reds have now won seven in a row and 10 of 12, but still sit 13 games under .500. Bizarrely, the Reds also swept the Dodgers, the Cubs’ next opponent, in a four-game series in May. Duane Underwood will start for the Cubs Monday against the Dodgers and make his major league debut.

Here are some other wild facts and figures from the series:

  • The last time the Reds swept the Cubs in a four-game series was back in 1983. That was the first week of the season and three weeks before the infamous Lee Elia rant.
  • One positive for the Cubs from the game was Montgomery’s start. Through six innings he allowed one run on three hits and two walks. However, he gave up a single, a double and a single in the seventh before Strop relieved him. Montgomery had gone six innings and allowed one run in each of his last four outings.
  • Strop was definitely a negative. On his first pitch, Strop gave up a home run to pinch-hitter Jesse Winker, the second home run for a Reds pinch-hitter in the game. Then Strop allowed a single, a walk, a single and a double before getting an out. Strop’s final line: 2/3 inning pitched, four runs, one strikeout, three walks, four hits.
  • The Cubs led in three of the four games this series, including two leads after five innings.
  • The Cubs were 5-for-23 (.217) with runners in scoring position in the series. On the season the Cubs are hitting .233 with RISP, which is 22nd in the majors and fourth-worst in the National League (but ahead of the division-rival Brewers and Cardinals).
  • The Reds outscored the Cubs 31-13 and scored at least six runs in every game. The Reds are now 6-3 against the Cubs this year after going a combined 17-40 against the Cubs from 2015-2017.