After picking up the win in the first game of this series, the Braves are now going for the series win against the Cubs with Charlie Morton taking the mound as tonight’s starter.
It’s still very early going and we’re in the midst of a season that is happening after a very truncated spring training campaign, but it does appear that Charlie Morton is having another slow start to the season. One year and a day ago, Morton was in a similar position against the Cubs and Chicago got him for five runs over 5.1 innings. With that being said, this has to be taken with a bit of a grain of salt considering that the April 2021 version of the Chicago Cubs is nearly unrecognizable to the April 2022 version of the Chicago Cubs, so maybe things will change when Morton gets the start tonight.
With that being said, this seems like a prime opportunity for Morton to bounce back. The Cubs have hit a bit of a funk lately and aside from a 21-run explosion against the Pirates, they’ve lost six of their last seven. As long as Morton can find a way to avoid his early-inning mess that he usually finds himself in, this seems like a good chance for him to get his season going on the right foot at this point.
On the other side of things, the Braves will have to deal with what seems like a very vulnerable starter in the form of Mark Leiter Jr. This will actually be Leiter’s first start against the Braves since (wait for it) 2017 when he was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. It seems pointless to bring this up, but he made it into the seventh inning and finished with just three runs allowed against the Braves in that game. That game happened so long ago that Matt Kemp, David Freitas, Jace Peterson, and Matt Adams were playing for the Braves in that one.
That game was also one Tommy John surgery and three different organizations (not including a pandemic-thwarted attempt to play in the Atlantic League) ago for Leiter. With all due respect to the journeyman pitcher who has done well to make it back to the big leagues, the Braves should be approaching this as a chance to take care of some business at the plate. Leiter has not been particularly good for the Cubs this season and if he gets past the fifth inning then the Braves will have gotten it completely wrong at the plate tonight.
So, if Charlie Morton continues his early-season slump and Mark Leiter Jr. is as advertised, then we just might have a slugfest on our hands this evening. Even if that does happen, I feel like this is a game that the Braves should be winning. Baseball’s a funny game and that’s why they need 162 games to eventually sort things out in any given season. Hopefully things go as planned for the Braves tonight!
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, April 27, 7:20 pm EDT
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan