The Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves will play in a four-game series from July 2 through July 5, 2012. The probable pitchers include Matt Garza, Paul Maholm, Jeff Samardzija, Chris Volstad, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor and Randall Delgado.
The Cubs are coming off a series sweep of the Houston Astros from June 29 through July 1. Although the Cubs have a 10-29 road record, they're facing a team who has an 18-20 home record. The Cubs won two of three games when these teams met at Wrigley Field from May 7 through May 9.
All times are central time zone. The probable pitchers are updated as of July 2 on Cubs.mlb.com. The Cubs are represented by the pitchers in italics. Batter versus pitcher data is from ESPN.
July 2, 6:10 p.m.
Jeff Samardzija (5-7, 5.05 ERA) vs. Tommy Hanson (9-4, 3.59 ERA)
Jeff Samardzija surrendered one earned run in seven innings when these teams met on May 7. The Cubs won 5-1. Current Braves hitters are 12-for-48 (.250 batting average) with a .368 on-base percentage (OBP). Michael Bourn is 4-for-7 (571 batting average) with one double and one walk.
July 3, 6:10 p.m.
Chris Volstad (0-6, 7.46 ERA) vs. Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.07 ERA)
Chris Volstad returns to the starting rotation while Ryan Dempster recovers from his lat injury. Volstad didn't pitch when these teams met in May. Current Braves hitters are 30-for-105 (.286 batting average) with a .342 OBP against him. Jason Heyward is 3-for-9 (.333 batting average) with three walks, two home runs and two RBIs. Eric Hinske and Brian McCann have also homered.
July 4, 6:10 p.m.
Paul Maholm (5-6, 4.84 ERA) vs. Randall Delgado (4-8, 4.52 ERA)
Paul Maholm surrendered no earned runs in seven innings when these teams met in a 1-0 Cubs victory on May 9. Current Braves hitters are 34-for-133 (.256 batting average) with a .327 OBP against him. Dan Uggla is 7-for-24 (.292 batting average) with three walks, three RBIs, two home runs and a double. Martin Prado is 6-for-14 (.429 batting average) with two doubles.
July 5, 6:10 p.m.
Matt Garza (4-6, 4.01 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (4-6, 6.20 ERA)
Matt Garza didn't pitch when these teams met in May. Current Braves hitters are 24-for-69 (.348 batting average) with a .397 OBP against him. McCann is the only player with a home run. Bourn is 10-for-17 (.588 batting average) with two RBIs. Uggla is 4-for-13 (.308 batting average) with three RBIs and two walks.
A lot of below-average pitching matchups there. LaHair probably won't start on July 5 because Minor is a left-handed pitcher, albeit very ineffective. Tommy Hanson is the only pitcher who has an ERA below 4.00.
The Cubs have won five of their past six games. Can they carry that momentum on the road? I'm not feeling too good about the pitching matchups. The Braves are better-equipped to attack suspect pitchers. They'd be doing very well if they could grab two victories here.
Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid-90s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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