The Chicago Cubs visit the Atlanta Braves for the first of a four-game series Monday night and both teams are looking for some runs after being blanked Sunday.
The Cubs had won four consecutive games before losing the final two games of their weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
On Sunday, the Cubs trailed 1-0 going into the ninth before Milwaukee put up five in the top of the inning to win 6-0.
The Braves were not only swept in a doubleheader by the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, but they only got one hit in the 14 innings played.
Freddie Freeman got the only hit (in the sixth inning) of a 5-0 loss in the opening game. Atlanta only put on one baserunner (due to throwing error) and got no hits in a 7-0 loss to Madison Bumgarner in Game 2.
Because it was a seven-inning game, it will not be recognized as a no-hitter for Bumgarner although both he and Zac Gallen were credited with complete-game shutouts.
“It wasn’t our day, that’s for sure,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “You have to put it behind you and hopefully start a winning streak, you know, tomorrow. I hope all of them start hitting, not just the bottom (of the lineup) but the top and the middle and the end at some point in time. That’s all you can do. …
“It’s just one them days. I don’t know. I can’t explain it. One of them days.”
For the Cubs, Sunday’s loss to the Brewers spoiled a terrific start from Jake Arrieta, who gave up the one run in six innings with eight strikeouts.
“We couldn’t get the line moving too much and that’s kind of how the story goes when you’re facing an ace on the other side,” Chicago manager David Ross said.
Atlanta and the Cubs have already met once this season with the Braves taking two of three last weekend at Wrigley Field.
Chicago won the second game of that series 13-4 with Atlanta returning the favor by an identical score the following day.
Charlie Morton (1-1, 3.91 ERA) will get the start for Atlanta after getting no-decisions his last two outings. His loss came against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 3.
That game was Morton’s shortest outing of the season as he went five innings against the Phillies, allowing three runs off six hits with five strikeouts.
Although the Braves have faced Chicago this season, Morton has not pitched against the Cubs since he was with the Pirates on Sept. 17, 2015.
In that game, he only lasted four innings and gave up six runs on nine hits with five strikeouts.
Morton is looking for his first win against the Cubs since June 9, 2014 when he gave up one run in seven innings, giving up six hits with seven strikeouts.
Chicago plans to start righty Zach Davies (1-2, 8.80) in the opener. Davies will make his fifth start of the season and second away from Wrigley Field.
Davies will try to get a little deeper into the game than his past three starts as he has not gotten into the fifth in any of those games.
On Wednesday, Davies took a no-decision in his last start against the Mets after going four innings and allowing two runs on five hits, including a first inning-home run to Francisco Lindor.
Davies has had some success against the Braves, however, going 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA (seven earned runs in 18 innings) with four walks and four strikeouts in three career starts.
In his only start at Truist Park as a member of the Brewers in 2017, Davies tossed seven scoreless innings off five hits.
–Field Level Media