The Braves look to haul out their brooms and do a little fall housekeeping as they hope to sweep the Cubs tonight at Truist Park.
Atlanta has won the first two games of this three-game set with the Cubs. The first two games were exciting for Braves fans, and excruciatingly painful for the Cubs. In each game, the Chicago defense betrayed the Cubs who are still trying to lock-up a post-season Wild Card slot.
The Braves were clutch on multiple occasions in last night’s 6-5 win. Ronald Acuña Jr. created the 40/70 club during the contest, which was awesome and well-worth celebrating. He singled, stole bag #69, and scored the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. Moments, the soon-to-be MVP singled home the Manfred man in bottom of the 10th, swiped #70, and scored the game-winner on Ozzie Albies’ third hit of the night. Albies was 3-for-5 with with three RBI in the win. Marcell OHzuna also provided some heroics, saving Kirby Yates‘ bacon by hitting a tying home run to left in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. OHzuna unloaded on a center-cut 3-0 pitch and Truist Park erupted.
Chicago desperately needs a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Braves, however, hope to inch closer to the all-time home run record while doing some fall housekeeping this evening to earn the sweep.
The Braves go for the sweep tonight behind rookie AJ Smith-Shover, I mean Smith-Shawver. The flame-throwing rook hasn’t made a big-league start since July 30. The young right-hander threw five innings of four-hit, three-run ball vs. Milwaukee in that one. Smith-Shover is 1-0 with a 4.57 ERA in five MLB appearances this season.
Smith-Shover will be opposed by Marcus Stroman (10-8, 3.88). Stroman is 1-2 with an 8.59 ERA in his last seven games. He’s working his way back from injury and last pitched against Colorado on Sept. 23. Stroman allowed five hits and three runs in three innings of work against the Rox. Albies is hitting .438 with an .876 OPS in 16 ABs vs. Stroman, while Eddie Rosario has a .333 avg and 1.333 OPS in nine ABs against the veteran right-hander.
First pitch at Truist Park is slated for 7:20 ET/6:20 CT.