Game One Hundred Forty-Four: Cubs (56-87) vs. Braves (69-73)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Turner Field, Atlanta
Rich Hill (4-6, 4.83) vs. John Smoltz (12-8, 3.63)
As the Cubs are in Atlanta ready to face the Braves for the last time this season, take a moment to thank all of the men and women that are overseas fighting for our freedom. It is because of them, that we can enjoy (and discuss) things like baseball. On this the 5th Anniversary of the day the world changed, let’s also take a moment to remember all of the lives that were lost on the fateful day.
The Cubs send Rich Hill to the mound tonight and attempt to salvage the last game of the series and season series against the Braves. The Braves have won the first 6 games of the year and for the Cubs to win the last game, they will have to beat a pitcher with a 15-4 (3.09 ERA) career record against them. Rich Hill has been tremendous since his last recall and if not for 2 errors, one by Hill the other by Cedeno, he would be looking for his 3rd straight victory. He gave up just 1 earned run against the Pirates in 7 1/3 innings of work. In his last 8 starts he has given up just 1 earned run in 4 of those and is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA (15 runs in 50 innings) but most importantly he has figured out how to throw strikes. Again since his last call-up, 50 innings, he has struck out 45 and walked just 14.
John Smoltz is the anchor of the Braves staff and arguably will enter the Hall of Fame someday. Smoltz has had a good season and actually had his worst start of the year against the Cubs back on May 28th. The Cubs scored 8 runs, 6 earned, on 10 hits in 6 innings. He pitched very well against the Mets his last time out and had a good August, 4-2, 3.75 ERA. Smoltz can be beat but it will be a tough task for a team struggling to avoid the 100-loss plateau.
The Cubs are expected to activate Cesar Izturis before the game.
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