It’s been an eventful week for the first place Chicago Cubs who will continue their road trip with a three-game set in Atlanta. The last time they met the Braves was at Wrigley Field where they were handed one of their rare series losses.
In case you missed it, the Chicago Cubs went out and made one of their first trades of the regular season when they reacquired utility man Chris Coghlan from the Oakland Athletes. They shipped infielder Arismendy Alcantara over to the West Coast for the former National League Rookie of the year.
Now that Coghlan is reunited with the Cubs, it’s time to get back to work. Not to mention, Chicago drafted a few pitchers in today’s draft. We’ll have more on that later, so let’s get started on tonight’s contest.
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Hammel (7-1, 2.14 ERA) is putting together an All-Star caliber first half of the season, cruising through nine starts in which he limited opposing teams to two earned runs or less.
After having to leave his May 30th start against the Dodgers after just two innings of work, Hammel bounced back with a strong two earned run performance by manhandling the Arizona Diamondbacks. He gave up an early two-run homer but everything was smooth sailing from there on out.
Jason currently holds the sixth-best earned run average in all of professional baseball behind Clayton Kershaw, Jake Arrieta, Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard and Jon Lester — which is rather impressive, to say the least.
He’s also in the top 15 when it comes to his 7-1 record. Tonight, he’ll be squaring up against 31-year-old veteran, Bud Norris.
Norris (1-7, 5.28 ERA) started out the year in the five-man rotation for the Braves (17-42) but was moved to the bullpen after giving up 22 earned runs on 34 hits, six home runs with a K/BB ratio of 22/11 back in April.
He has pitched much better since his demotion, allowing only four earned runs in 11 bullpen appearances in May only to pick up his sixth start of the year against the Dodgers just six days ago.
Norris held the Dodgers to one earned run on three hits in five innings of work but was still handed the loss. Hopefully, the Cubs will be able to keep him on edge and not allow him to get ahead in the count. They have run into a few pitchers with terrible records only to be dominated.
First pitch for tonight’s contest is set for 6:35 p.m. central time and will air live on CSN, 670 The score. Here is a look at the starting lineups for both clubs: