It feels as though a full week has passed since Mike Minor was roughed up and the Atlanta Braves lost yet another series, but it has been less than 48 hours. With that, the Braves have had some time to recover from three consecutive series losses (and eight defeats in nine games), and Atlanta welcomes the lowly Chicago Cubs to Turner Field over the weekend.
Friday night’s action features stud right-hander Julio Teheran on the mound for the Braves, and that is always a welcome sight. The 23-year-old has allowed three earned runs or fewer in all seven starts this season, and despite his “worst” outing in his last start, he was still more than effective. Fortunately for Teheran and the entire Braves roster, Chicago’s offense has been woeful this season, and that could allow for a sparkling performance here.
Pitching has not been the issue for Atlanta during this losing skid, however, and it will be crucial to see how the bats respond, beginning with Friday’s match-up against Jason Hammel. The 31-year-old right-hander has been very good this season (2.43 ERA, 0.81 WHIP), and he has allowed a ghastly .417 OPS against right-handed batters this season. That places a great deal of emphasis on the lefties (Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman) for production, but it also wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ramiro Pena at second base once again.
The Braves need this one, and in the midst of the NFL Draft and its all-consuming power, this is a must-watch for Atlanta fans.
Here is a look at the particulars for Friday:
Date: May 9, 2014
Start Time: 7:35 p.m.
TV Channel: Fox Sports South
Radio: 680 AM/106.7 FM (Local in Atlanta), Full list of Local Affiliates
Live Stream: MLB.tv (Click Here, $)
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