The Braves were looking to continue working back towards .500 against a seemingly weak Chicago team, despite a rash of injuries for the Braves.
Ronald Acuna led the game off with a walk, but was picked off at first on a close play that went to replay. Freddie Freeman then hit a single, so it was unfortunate to have Ronald off the base paths. Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud quickly struck out to end the inning, stranding Freeman on first. Huascar Ynoa came in trying to continue his early season success. Ynoa struck out the first batter, but gave up an opposite field homer to Willson Contreras in the next at-bat. He battled back, however, to record another strikeout and a groundout, working around a Kris Bryant single.
The Braves threatened in the second, as Dansby Swanson led off with a line drive single up the middle and Ehire Adrianza followed it up with a bunt for a hit. Austin Riley moved the runners over to second and third with a grounder poked to the right side. Unfortunately, Guillermo Heredia struck out after a very bad strike two call, bringing Huascar Ynoa to the plate with two outs. Ynoa struck out because pitchers are bad at hitting to end the threat. A lucky double from Jason Heyward and a very deserved double from David Bote with one out put another run on the board for Chicago in the home second. Ynoa struck out the pitcher, Trevor Williams and Ian Happ to strand Bote and end the inning there. After a 1-2-3 top of the third from Williams, Willson Contreras hit another homer, this time to dead center. A single from Rizzo and a walk to Pederson preceded a homer from Javy Baez that really blew the lead open for Chicago, at 6-0. Ynoa got out of the inning after that, but the damage was done.
No team mustered baserunner in the fourth, but Guillermo Heredia reached on an error in the fifth, and Sean Kazmar pinch hit in what is a really cool story. Alas, Kazmar grounded into an inning-ending double play. Jesse Biddle also made his return to the Braves today and he promptly gave up a single to Rizzo, who beat the shift, and a homer to Kris Bryant before recording an out. Things continued to go poorly for Biddle, as he hit a batter, got Baez to strike out, walked another batter, and was pulled from the game in favor of Jacob Webb, who immediately gave up a homer. Webb faced Trevor Williams, the pitcher next, so of course he allowed a slow roller for a hit.
Since the score is 11-0 at this point, I am going to be less specific with the rest of the game unless something fun, strange, disastrous, or miraculous happens.
The Braves did finally force Williams out of the game in the sixth, as Acuna singled, followed by walks from Freeman and Ozuna to load the bases with no outs. Travis d’Arnaud grounded into a double play, but scored Ronald and that was the only run the Braves would score in that spot. Of course, the Cubs felt threatened with the Braves now within 10 runs with three whole innings left, so they led off the home sixth with a triple and a homer. An Ehire Adrianza triple led to an Austin Riley sac fly to make the score 13-2. Walks from Panda and Freeman, combined with singles from Acuna and Ozuna resulted in another two runs for the Braves in the seventh.
The rest of the game was generally uneventful. Rough one for Atlanta today, but we’ll be back tomorrow for Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.