The Atlanta offense was held silent for almost the entirety of a 2-0 loss against the Cubs today. However, if there is any consolation for a second consecutive quiet day at the plate, it is that the Braves are highly unlikely to hear any steroid accusations from Cubs starter John Lackey after the series ends on Sunday.
Lackey entered the contest with a 4.98 ERA on the season, but that was of little consequence as he fired seven shutout innings against Atlanta. The Braves managed just three hits against the veteran right-hander, who finished the game having retired 16 consecutive batters. Lackey lowered his ERA to a cool 4.74 while also keeping the Braves from pushing him any closer to the league lead in home runs allowed, where he currently ranks second.
Mike Fotlynewicz may have taken the loss in this game, but he pitched yet another solid game, getting into the seventh inning with just two runs allowed. Oddly enough, Folty managed to strike out just two batters on the day while allowing five hits and three walks, but limited the damage to post his second consecutive effective outing. The command wavered at times throughout the evening, but Folty and the Braves kept the game close.
Offensively, the Cubs drew first blood on a hustle play by Javier Baez that seemingly could have been avoided had the Braves been more attentive on the play. The Cubs added another run in the fourth on an Ian Happ RBI single that would cap the scoring for the day. The Braves finished with just four hits on the day, two of which came from recalled third baseman Rio Ruiz, who fared well in his first game since rejoining the big club.
The game ended with Wade Davis retiring the Braves in order, though Atlanta did have the tying run at the plate in the form of Freddie Freeman after a leadoff walk to Ozzie Albies. Freeman would ground into a double play to extinguish the rally, leaving the Braves with nothing to show for their efforts in a shutout loss.
The Braves will take on the Cubs again on Saturday, and will look to exact some measure of revenge of Jon Lester for their uninspiring performances thus far in the series.