CHICAGO – Mother Nature’s interference in past games for the team have been famously fortuitous – especially a historic one in November of 2016.
Certainly, the Cubs needed a bit of a rain time out on Wednesday when they endured a forgettable start their third game of the week against the Braves Wednesday night. A line of thunderstorms rocked Wrigley Field for a couple of minutes after the visitors had done the same in jumping out to a five-run lead.
When the skies cleared, and the tarp was removed, the Cubs certainly looked rejuvenated as they attempted to make up the deficit against Atlanta in the top of the fourth inning. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough to overcome a terrible start to the game.
The Braves’ five runs off Yu Darvish, who was aided by a pair of home runs, were too much for the team to overcome in a 5-3 loss on Wednesday night. In each of the three innings after the delay, the Cubs got a run, but they were shut out in the final three innings as Atlanta took their second game of the series.
Thursday features the last of a four-game series as the Cubs need a win to break even on their ten-game homestand.
Before the storms arrived above Wrigley Field they arrived for the Cubs and Darvish in the early innings. A Darvish wild pitch brought home Atlanta’s first run in the first inning with Brian McCann adding another on a homer in the second. Nick Markakis added three more on his 411-foot long ball to center to make it 5-0, then the rains arrived in the fourth.
Darvish would return after the delay and wouldn’t allow a run, but the damage was done in the first three innings as they pitcher finished with five earned runs, eight strikeouts with two walks.
The bullpen would hold the Braves down the rest of the way as the offense started creeping back into the contest. Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant each hit solo homers in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, with another run coming in on a Jason Heyward ground out in the sixth.
After that, the Cubs would only have one major threat against Braves’ pitching, as they had runners at second and third in the eighth inning. But consecutive strikeouts by Addison Russell and Victor Caratinin ended the threat, and a 1-2-3 ninth ended the Cubs’ hopes for victory.
While the rain delay brought improved play, as it had in the past, it wasn’t enough to overcome a miserable start.