This was an eventful series between these two clubs to say the least. The Braves had already had quite a few injuries coming into this series with the Cubs, and they left with even more. Hopefully, none of the injuries that took place in this series are too severe!
Game One: Kyle Wright vs. Zach Davies, Braves won 5-2
Wright wasn’t originally supposed to start this game, but after Drew Smyly was placed on the Braves injured list that morning, he got called up and made the start. Kyle pitched well, giving up only two runs, three hits and two walks over 4.1 innings. He did not qualify for the win, because he didn’t pitch a full five innings. It’s almost kind of weird for me to say this, but Acuña did not have a home run in this game. He still had a hit and showed impressive hitting skills at the plate when he scored two Braves runners on a pitch that wasn’t even a strike. The bullpen pitched very well for the Braves in this game. It was good to see the pitchers come out of the bullpen, have a lead, and more importantly be able to keep it. In this game, there was a combined total of five players hit with pitches. Four were Cubs players and one was a Brave. The player that got hit for the Braves with a pitch was my man, Ozzie Albies and it didn’t look good. It was the top of the ninth inning. No one was on for the Braves, and the Cubs’ pitcher Justin Steele hit Ozzie on the knee. I don’t think it was intentional… but it was a little odd to me that he got hit with no one on base for the Braves. Ozzie was taken out of the game, and that says a lot about how much pain he was in. Ozzie, despite his size, is a very tough, young player who loves to play, and wants to play every single inning of every single game. That is just one of the reasons why he is my favorite player! Besides Ozzie getting hit with a pitch and exiting the game in the ninth, the Braves had another injury earlier in the game when Ender Inciarte exited the game after straining his hamstring running the bases in the top of the fourth inning. He was replaced in center by Braves bench player Guillermo Heredia. Despite the injuries, the Braves stayed strong and the bullpen came through to earn them a Braves win!
Game Two: Huascar Ynoa vs. Trevor Williams, Braves lost 13-4
It’s never fun, or easy, to write about a Braves loss. Especially a “blow-out” loss like they had in this game. This was the first start that Ynoa made where he had trouble. His stuff wasn’t all there and he had a hard time finishing batters off. In just four innings he gave up six runs and three home runs. That was very unlike him considering the previous starts he’d had. The Cubs bats were hot; that’s really my only “explanation” for what happened in this game. They didn’t score much in the game before, and they had a hard time scoring with runners in scoring position. The Cubs offense more than made up for that in this game. Acuña had two hits and scored two of the Braves four runs. Ozuna had a single. These are still good things to see from the Braves even when they lose — that they can still hit and are still scoring runs. This game was also a monumental one for Sean Kazmar Jr. who made his first Major League plate appearance in almost thirteen years. That is a long time! He came in to pinch hit for Ynoa, and even though he didn’t do anything except hit into a double play, it was just a proud moment for him and everything he has been through. I’m sure, given all of the Braves injuries, that he will have another plate-appearance sometime soon, and hopefully he’ll do more at the plate!
Game Three: Bryse Wilson vs. Kyle Hendricks, Braves won 13-4
What was that? Oh yeah, the Braves hit four first inning home runs. Four! And they didn’t stop there. Scoring six runs in the first inning, all off of homers, the Braves offense were giving the Cubs a little payback for what they did to them in the game before. Because the Braves have had so many injuries of late, they have guys playing that wouldn’t be playing. Guillermo Heredia had two home runs in this game. A two-run shot in the first and a grand slam in the sixth inning. He was on fire! He had a total of three hits, six RBI’s, and a walk. That is what you want to see from your non-everyday players, and he most definitely came through. Wilson pitched well. He went five innings, giving up three runs. However, only two of those runs were earned because Austin Riley had a throwing error in the bottom of the first which allowed Kris Bryant to score. Overall it was a great games for Braves and with the win, they took the series 2-1 over the Cubs.
One thing to note in this game that I didn’t mention earlier is that Acuña was taken out after two head first slides, one at first base and one coming into score, in the top of the fourth. After the slide you could tell that he was in pain and he kept pointing to the lower part of his stomach. Hopefully it isn’t too serious and he will be back in the lineup soon!!
Games like game three of the Braves vs. Cubs series are one of my absolute favorite types of games to watch. Where the Braves win, their offense is on fire, and the pitching is good too. You honestly can’t go wrong! The only thing that would have made this 13-4 win against the Cubs better, would’ve been if my man Ozzie was in the lineup and he got to contribute to the fun, too. Oh, well! He’ll do it next time the Braves see the Cubs on their upcoming home stand 🙂