There is no way to sugarcoat the Cubs (7-9) losing three of four to the Pirates at Wrigley Field. It’s a pretty bad sign to drop a series to a rebuilding team miles away from competitiveness. Of course, Chicago is not exactly built to compete in 2022 either, and the degree of difficulty increases significantly on the schedule in the next two weeks.
First up on the gauntlet the Cubs must run is a three-game series in Atlanta against the defending World Series champion Braves. Much like 2021, the Braves have struggled early in the season with just a 7-10 record. The big culprit is a 4.59 team ERA, one of the highest in baseball. The starting rotation and the bullpen have been equally poor for Atlanta.
New acquisition Matt Olson has been an excellent replacement for the departed Freddie Freeman at first base. Looking at the overall outfield production, it’s clear the Braves still miss stud Ronald Acuña Jr. who is nearing a return from a torn ACL. Their biggest offensive weapon is the home run ball, with 20 as a team so far in 2022.
The Cubs are actually facing Atlanta at a good time since they’re not yet at full strength and haven’t found a rhythm pitching-wise. Unfortunately, the same could be said for the road team. Outside of Saturday’s 21-run explosion, the bats have cooled over the last week and haven’t been able to make even decent pitching performances stand up.
As the old saying goes: You can’t win a championship in April, but you can lose it. The Cubs are in danger of that fate if they don’t right the ship quickly, and the chance to prove the offseason prognosticators wrong is slipping away.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Tuesday, April 26 at 6:20pm CT on Marquee Sports Network
- Wednesday, April 27 at 6:20pm CT on Marquee Sports Network
- Thursday, April 28 at 6:20pm CT on MLB Network (out-of-market only) Marquee Sports Network
|Mark Leiter Jr.
What to Watch For
- Nico Hoerner has gone 9-for-20 at the plate the last week and he’s playing excellent defense at shortstop.
- Alfonso Rivas had four hits and a walk this weekend after being recalled from Iowa.
- Wright has been dominant for the Braves through his first three starts.
- Nick Madrigal has had just one hit in his last 15 at-bats.