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New Cub Cole Hamels gets first look at new and improved Wrigley Field

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Tyler Chatwood delivers in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) ORG XMIT: PAGP

Tucked inside Cole Hamels’ locker in the Cubs’ clubhouse is the lineup card from the left-hander’s first victory with his new team along with a baseball used in that game earlier this week.

Now that he has settled into his new surroundings at Wrigley Field, Hamels is angling for another souvenir, this one from the no-hitter he pitched against the Cubs while a member of the Phillies on July 25, 2015.

“I’m still trying to fight for the home plate, but I’m sure they probably gave that away,” Hamels said with a smile before the Cubs defeated the Padres 5-4 on Friday afternoon.

Having joined the team while the Cubs were on the road and then earning the win against the Pirates on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, Hamels is just now getting acclimated to the Friendly Confines and likes what the organization has done with the place.

“With what they’ve done in the past couple of years, this place has become a pretty nice venue, not only for the fans but obviously for us players,” said Hamels, who was acquired in a trade with the Rangers on July 27. “The organization has done a tremendous job with making me comfortable and confident.”

Part of that comfort are the spacious new dugouts at Wrigley Field, a welcome change for the 6-4 Hamels, who did some damage while visiting with the Phillies.

“I remember you were always trying to duck and you hit your head in the dugout,” Hamels said. “I did that many a time. To actually be able to stand in that dugout [and] look around, it’s a great place to admire the fans and the energy that they bring day in and day out.”

New role

Tyler Chatwood is soldiering on in his new role as a relief pitcher. After the right-hander went 4-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 19 starts, Chatwood was sent to the bullpen when the Cubs acquired Hamels. Chatwood pitched an inning of scoreless relief during the Cubs’ 9-2 victory over the Pirates on Wednesday and said Friday that he has had to alter his mindset to pitch in relief.

“It’s a lot different,” Chatwood said. “With starting, you have your set routine and you know what you’re doing. Down there [in the bullpen], it’s try to be loose and then whenever the phone rings you have adrenaline and that kicks in.”


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Duensing to DL

Reliever Brian Duensing was placed on the 10-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation. Duensing, who was also on the DL from July 1-13 with fatigue in the same shoulder, had a 13.75 ERA in his last 20 appearances.

“He still has that discomfort there,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He just can’t really finish things off like he’d like to so we want to back off. We want to make sure that he’s well and right so we’re going to choose this route right now.”

Fellow left-hander Randy Rosario was recalled from Class AAA Iowa for his fourth stint with the Cubs this season.