Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs Series Preview

The Braves are feeling pretty good right now. Hopefully they can jump all over the Cubs at Wrigley.

For the second time in two weeks, the Braves look to take on the Cubs team after earning a sweep in the previous series. This time the Braves go to Wrigley field to play four games on the North Side of Chicago. The Cubbies took the series two games to one against the Braves during the August 12-14 match up.

The Carlos Zambrano fiasco of three series ago was well publicized, as he walked his way out of the Cubs locker room and into a thirty day stint on the disqualified list. Darwin Barney also managed to become one of my least favorite players during the last series against the Braves, albeit due to outstanding play. He ended Dan Uggla's hit streak on an incredible play in right field and went 7-for-11 during the series at the dish.

Since the Braves last faced the Cubs, Chicago lost a three game series 2-1 to the Astros, each game decided by just one run. They then returned to the friendly confines to take two of three from the rival Cardinals. In the meantime, the Braves did some serious damage of their own to other National League playoff contenders. Atlanta took three of four from the defending champion Giants and then pulled off a big sweep of the NL West leading Arizona Diamondbacks. So all things equal, the Braves have been a tad bit better than the Cubs since the last meeting.

Despite going 3-3 since leaving Turner, these Cubs certainly aren't the Cubs of the early summer. Starlin Castro has come into his own, leading the National League in hits so far during the 2011 campaign with an impressive 164. Aramis Ramirez is one of the hottest hitters in the game right now as well, hitting 19 for 39 since August 11th with four homers during that span. The Braves obviously won't face Big Z during the upcoming four game series, as he is still ineligible. In fact, when asked whether Zambrano would pitch for the Cubs again last night on Sunday Night Baseball, chairman Tom Ricketts said that he "would have a hard time imagining that."

Pitching match ups after the jump...

Monday 8:05 PM Eastern:


Jair Jurrjens

#49 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-1

200

R

R

Jan 29, 1986

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jair Jurrjens 12-5 21 21 2 1 0 0 139.2 126 46 44 11 37 86 2.84 1.17


Ryan Dempster

#46 / Pitcher / Chicago Cubs

6-2

215

R

R

May 03, 1977

 



W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Ryan Dempster 10-8 27 26 0 0 0 0 154.1 156 82 79 16 56 147 4.61 1.37

After a short stint on the DL, Jurrjens came back with a rather unimpressive start on August 17th against the Giants, earning the only Braves loss of the series. This is becoming worrisome, as the Jair Jurrjens of May and June would have ideally taken the mound in game one or two of a playoff series. The Jair Jurrjens of the last five starts will hopefully right the ship starting on Monday to get back on track against veteran Ryan Dempster.

Tuesday 8:05 PM Eastern:


Mike Minor

#36 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-3

210

R

L

Dec 26, 1987

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Mike Minor 3-2 9 9 0 0 0 0 50.2 58 24 24 0 19 46 4.26 1.52


Casey Coleman

#27 / Pitcher / Chicago Cubs

6-0

180

L

R

Jul 03, 1987

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Casey Coleman 2-5 13 10 0 0 0 0 46.0 64 39 38 5 30 35 7.43 2.04

In game two of the four-gamer, Mike Minor will face off against Rory McIlroy...I mean...Casey Coleman. This guy looks just like the US Open winning golfer as far as I'm concerned. I can't promise to know much about Coleman, but his numbers don't speak too highly of his pitching so far this year at the big league level. He has made 12 starts at AAA this year and holds a respectable 5-2 record with a 3.65 ERA in Iowa. Mike Minor was fantastic in his last start and I definitely look forward to seeing him keep it up.

Wednesday 8:05 PM Eastern:


Derek Lowe

#32 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-6

230

R

R

Jun 01, 1973

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Derek Lowe 8-11 27 27 0 0 0 0 150.1 167 81 79 9 55 108 4.73 1.48


Randy Wells

#36 / Pitcher / Chicago Cubs

6-5

230

R

R

Aug 28, 1982

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Randy Wells 4-4 16 16 0 0 0 0 89.1 104 59 58 18 34 56 5.84 1.54

With Tommy Hanson down with shoulder inflammation and Jurrjens looking anything but Jurrjens-esque, Mike Minor and Derek Lowe have both stepped their games up in a major way to help out the Braves. Lowe went five scoreless innings to end a pretty rough streak of starts. Keep it up D-Lowe.

Thursday 2:20 PM Eastern:


Brandon Beachy

#37 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-3

215

R

R

Sep 03, 1986

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Brandon Beachy 6-2 19 19 0 0 0 0 108.1 94 43 40 14 32 120 3.32 1.16


Matt Garza

#17 / Pitcher / Chicago Cubs

6-4

215

R

R

Nov 26, 1983

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Matt Garza 6-9 24 24 1 0 0 0 146.2 138 70 59 11 51 151 3.62 1.29

The Cubs got the best of this match up a few weeks ago in a peculiar game, though neither starter was handed a decision. The Braves were able to manufacture runs off of Cubs errors while Garza was on the mound, developing a 4-0 lead, but the bullpen let Beachy down a bit after a phenomenal five innings from the rookie. (It has gotten to the point in the season where I don't consider a confident, poised guy like Beachy a rookie anymore, but by definition he is one, so I will continue to write as such)

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