After taking care of some unfinished business at Wrigley Field, the “series” shifts from Chicago to Cobb County as the Braves welcome the Cubs into our own friendly confines for the originally scheduled three-game series.
Yu Darvish will be taking the mound for the Cubs tonight and redemption against the Braves will surely be on his mind. It was a start to forget for Darvish as the Braves ran him with two outs in the fourth inning after he gave up four runs in that inning. It was a particularly disastrous inning as he basically escorted Ozzie Albies to home plate following a double, a balk and a wild pitch, then Preston Tucker launched a three-run dinger to complete the single-inning meltdown.
Needless to say, the Braves should be feeling confident about their chances tonight — especially considering that this will be Yu Darvish’s first start since May 2nd after he spent some time on the DL due to illness. With that being said, here’s hoping that they don’t rest on their laurels and figure that Darvish is just going to struggle again. It’s been a rocky season for him thus far, but we know what he can do when he’s “on” and hopefully we don’t see that tonight.
Meanwhile, Mike Foltynewicz will be answering the call for the Braves as their starter tonight. As usual, the story for Folty will center around whether or not he can keep his pitch count down. He hasn’t been terrible this season, but we’re also getting very used to him getting into the fifth inning with around 90 pitches under his belt. If he can stretch that by an inning or more, then tonight could be another good night for the Braves.
If he can’t do that, then watch out. The current version of the Cubs may not have much experience against Folty, but we know that we’re always one bad call away from seeing a loss of composure from the starter and that could eventually lead to problems for the Braves — especially against a Cubs team that is currently tied with our Braves for best team ISO in the NL (.176) and is tied for second in the Senior Circuit in team wRC+ as well (107, five points behind Atlanta).
Still, the Braves should go into this game with a decent amount of confidence. Even though yesterday’s game got way too close for comfort, the Braves could have broken that game wide open at any point had they cashed in the bushel of baserunners that they had. If that continues on into tonight, then I don’t think that the likes of Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuña, Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis (among others) are going to let those chances pass them by again. We’ll see what happens, though.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, May 15, 7:35 p.m. ET
Location: SunTrust Park
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM, WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network