Rolling out of the All-Star Break, the Chicago Cubs turn to John Lackey, back from Plantar Fasciitis, as they battle the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night.
So far, so good for the Chicago Cubs.
Starting pitching has finally been at the highest point it’s been all season. The last three games have seen Cubs’ starters each go into the seventh inning, and are 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA.
It’s up to John Lackey to continue that success.
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Though Lackey has struggled much of the season, including a career-worst 2.19 HR/9, it’s a chance for him to show the Cubs what he may still have for a second-half push. While Atlanta has power in their lineup, they rank 12th among home runs in the NL.
Rookie Braves’ starter Sean Newcomb enters action 1-4, 4.26. Making his MLB debut June 10, he started off with four starts of at least six innings.
The offense has been hot, including a third home run by Anthony Rizzo in as many games.
Shortstop Addison Russell returns to the Cubs’ lineup. Russell is 5-for-13 over his last three games, and 9-for-33 during the month of July, good for a .351 average.
Willson Contreras is back behind the plate and cleaning up. He’s hitting .391 in July, even after a 0-for-4 last night. Contreras is 8-for-16 over his last four games. Ben Zobrist is in left field, and Albert Almora Jr. will take over in center.
Chicago and Atlanta conclude their three-game set Wednesday afternoon at SunTrust Park.