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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves preview, Friday 6/17, 1:20 CT

Once again, the Cubs will try to win a baseball game.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Friday notes...

  • THE UNFRIENDLY CONFINES: Since September 10, 2021, the Cubs are 11-33 at Wrigley Field. This is the worst 44-game span in franchise history. They were 12-32 from June 20-September 27, 1974.
  • A LOT OF RELIEF: Scott Effross appeared in his 30th game Thursday. That’s tied for the MLB lead with Noe Ramirez. The Cubs franchise record for games pitched in a season is 84, held by Ted Abernathy (1965), Dick Tidrow (1980) and Bob Howry (2006).
  • THE MOREL FILES: Christopher Morel out of the leadoff spot this year: .277/.355/.489 (26-for-94) with seven doubles, two triples and three home runs.
  • WILLSON!: Willson Contreras, last 19 games since May 26: .310/.424/.676 (22-for-71) with five doubles, seven home runs and 15 runs scored. The Cubs have scored only 81 runs total in games since May 26, so Willson has accounted for 18.5 percent of those.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Braves lineup:

Keegan Thompson, RHP vs. Charlie Morton, RHP

USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK

Keegan Thompson as reliever, 2022: eight games, 26 innings, 1.38 ERA, 0.923 WHIP
Keegan Thomson as starter, 2022: six games, 23 innings, 6.26 ERA, 1.609 WHIP

Granted, small sample sizes. But why would you keep doing this? It seems pretty clear that Thompson is not suited to starting.

Or, how about this? Why not try using an opener with him? Have someone throw an inning or two, then bring Thompson in as a reliever. The preparation is different. Maybe it’d work.

Sigh. That’s not happening today. Thompson did throw three good relief innings against the Braves April 27 in Atlanta, a game the Cubs actually won. Winning. Remember that?

Charlie Morton was an important part of the Braves’ World Series championship last year. This year? He’s 38 and age might have finally caught up with him, with a 5.67 ERA and nine home runs allowed in 60⅓ innings.

Morton didn’t make it out of the third inning in that April 27 game, allowing three runs to the Cubs and issuing four walks. He did strike out 12 Pirates in his last start, so there’s that, and he’s still throwing 95 mile per hour fastballs.

Fun fact: Morton has been around so long that one of his rookie year (2008) teammates was Tom Glavine.

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.