Braves-Cubs Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 07, 2012
The Chicago Cubs' pitching staff has made a quick turnaround following a miserable start, but it might have a difficult test to start this week. That's because the hot-hitting Atlanta Braves visit Wrigley Field for a three-game series that begins Monday night. Chicago (11-17) had a 5.13 ERA during its 3-11 start to its first season under team president Theo Epstein, manager Dale Sveum and pitching coach Chris Bosio. The Cubs, though, have a 2.76 ERA over their last 14 games and gave up zero runs after the third inning Sunday against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. That allowed Chicago to rally for a 4-3 win in 11 innings, with Tony Campana hitting a tying double in the ninth and David DeJesus drawing a bases-loaded walk in the final frame. "It could be a momentum builder for us," DeJesus told the team's website. The Cubs now try to slow down the Braves (18-11), who scored 29 runs in a three-game sweep at Colorado and have 44 in their last five overall. Freddie Freeman hit an early three-run homer during a 7-2 victory Sunday. "Guys just seem to be really locked in on what they want to accomplish up there," third baseman Chipper Jones told the team's website. Freeman is batting .364 with six homers, 14 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs over his last 19 games. He had seven RBIs in the sweep of the Rockies and was 7 for 24 with two homers in seven games last season against the Cubs. Jones, who was given the day off Sunday, is 9 for 17 with two homers and nine RBIs over his last three games, including a career high-tying five during a 13-9 victory Saturday. After that game, Rockies starter Jamie Moyer accused him of relaying signs to his teammates while on second base, a charge the 40-year-old veteran vehemently denied. If he's still stinging from that accusation, Wrigley Field is probably one of the last places he would want to visit to feel better. He's a career .219 hitter in 52 games there, but did go 5 for 12 in three games last year. Jeff Samardzija (3-1, 3.41 ERA) will try to help add to Jones' struggles in Chicago while continuing his recent success. The converted reliever has a 0.63 ERA over his last 14 1-3 innings and gave up one run over 7 2-3 innings during a 3-1 victory in Cincinnati on Wednesday. Samardzija is making his first start against Atlanta, which will seek a season-high sixth straight road win and eighth in its past 10 games at Wrigley. Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.74) will try to rebound from a difficult outing while leading the Braves to another win in Chicago. The right-hander threw 95 pitches over 3 2-3 innings Wednesday against Philadelphia, giving up four runs and eight hits. He's 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA in two career starts versus the Cubs, both in 2010, and gave up five runs over five innings during his only start at Wrigley. Eric Hinske, 10 for 13 in his last three starts, is a career .192 hitter against Chicago but tripled in his only at-bat against Samardzija. Michael Bourn, seeking to extend a 10-game hit streak, is 3 for 5 versus the Cubs right-hander and has batted .414 in his last 13 games at Wrigley. The Cubs' Bryan LaHair has reached base safely in 24 consecutive games and is second in the NL with a .390 batting average heading into his first matchup with the Braves.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

Hernandez's prison calls to Pouncey could come up in trial

Josh Hamilton experiences pain in reconstructed knee, leaves camp

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker