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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves preview, Thursday 4/28, 6:20 CT

The Cubs go for a series win!

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday notes...

  • NO K’S: Nico Hoerner has gone 25 plate appearances without a strikeout dating to April 19, the fourth-longest active streak in the majors. Ian Happ has gone 22 plate appearances without a K since April 21, the sixth-longest active streak. Overall the Cubs enter today having struck out 144 times, the sixth-fewest of any team. Last year the Cubs led MLB with 1,596 strikeouts, which set a new MLB record.
  • LOTS AND LOTS OF PITCHES: Seiya Suzuki has averaged 4.60 pitches per plate appearance, third-most in the majors behind Yoshi Tsutsugo (4.75) and Mitch Garver (4.72). Yesterday, Suzuki saw 28 pitches in five plate appearances (5.60 per PA).
  • MORE SEIYA: Suzuki’s 1.090 OPS ranks fifth in MLB entering today’s games, right behind... Anthony Rizzo in fourth, 1.106.
  • WHAT A RELIEF: In the Cubs’ last nine games, the bullpen has a 1.59 ERA (seven earned runs in 39⅔ innings) with 14 walks, 52 strikeouts and a .517 opponent OPS to go along with a .188 opponent BA (26-for-138).
  • STREAKING: The Cubs have scored at least one run in 64 consecutive games dating back to August 12, 2021, and the team’s 317 runs scored in that span are fourth-most in the NL (Giants, 331; Cardinals, 325; and Dodgers, 324). It’s the longest such stretch for the Cubs since scoring in 71 straight May 11-July 31, 2019.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Braves lineup:

Drew Smyly, LHP vs. Kyle Wright, RHP

USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK

Drew Smyly, part of the Braves World Series team in 2021, faces his former team for the first time since 2019, when he was with the Phillies. About half the guys in the lineup that night are still on the team. No current Braves hitter has more than seven career AB vs. Drew.

Overall Smyly has pretty good numbers this year and two of his three starts have been excellent. Keep that going, please.

It has taken Kyle Wright parts of five seasons to finally make it into the Braves rotation full-time, and he has taken advantage in three starts so far this year: 1.06 ERA, 0.765 WHIP, two (!) walks and 26 strikeouts in 17 innings, with no home runs allowed.

Either we’re doomed, or Wright is right on target to have his first bad start of the year, because everyone has a stinker now and again.

Let’s hope it’s the latter.

Statcast
Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Braves site Battery Power. If you do go there to interact with Braves fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2022 Game Thread procedure will be like last years, similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.