This week's series with the Cubs ended in much better fashion than did the last. The Braves went on the road and took three of four from a Cubs team that was pretty darn hot. I wouldn't say they were at "dancing bobcat" status, but Aramis Ramirez sure was. The Braves have now won nine of their last eleven against some good clubs.
On Monday night, the Braves took game one by a score of 3-0. Jurrjens was able to shut out the Cubs during his 6 and 1/3 innings. He truly did have to battle though, as his command was by no means all the way back and dealt with eleven Cubs base runners over that span. Freddie Freeman's bomb on the first pitch he ever saw at Wrigley was probably the highlight of the night, though Dan Uggla smashed one all the way out of Wrigley Field, himself.
In game two on Tuesday, Mike Minor pitched very well aside for some trouble in the fifth. The Cubs were able to score four runs on him in the fifth, but the Braves bullpen shut the door on the Cubs hopes of overcoming the Braves' five run fourth. With the bases loaded, Alex Gonzalez drew a two out walk to bring in a run. Then, Heyward stepped to the plate and mashed his first career grand slam to provide sufficient run support as the Braves won 5-4.
Wednesday's game was a tight one as well. Derek Lowe pitched a great game despite giving up a homer to the shadow of Alfonso Soriano. Try as they might, the Braves' bats were unable to overcome the 3-0 deficit to the Cubs. Chipper and Gonzo both homered late in the game but the Braves ultimately ran out of innings and the Cubbies held on for their only win of the series.
Thursday's slugfest took place on the unlikeliest of days. With Garza and Beachy on the mound for their respective clubs, a fan might have expected this to be the lowest scoring affair of the series. This was not the case, however, as Brian McCann arrived back at his pre-injury self with two homers. The Braves took the getaway game by a score of 8-3.
One of the only negatives that I will take away from an otherwise great series was the error total. Until Tuesday, the Braves had gone seven straight games without an error. In the final three games of the series, the Braves racked up six errors, most of which were pretty "not top 10" sort of stuff. This is very uncharacteristic, and I, for one, don't expect it to continue, but we all know what happens when a team commits errors in the playoffs...