The Braves actually outhit Chicago 9-5 on Sunday, but lost 3-1 due in large part to the fact that they left 11 runners on base. As a result, a solid start by Mike Minor — who tossed eight innings of three-run (two earned), five-hit ball, striking out eight and walking two — went to waste.
Atlanta will try to avoid letting the same thing happen when rookie starter Julio Teheran takes the mound to begin a four-game road series with the New York Mets on Monday.
One positive is that right fielder Jason Heyward is expected to return from a strained right hamstring that has caused him to miss the past six games.
“I just wanted to make sure my legs were 100 percent before I can go out there and attempt to do that, so having this extra day is great for me,” Heyward told Brian Hedger of MLB.com before Sunday’s game. “I’m ready to go play some defense late in the game if I have to and [Monday] we’ll see where we’re at … but I think I’m ready to go. I’m excited about playing.”
The Braves will be excited to have Heyward back as well, but even if he does spark the offense, they’ll need third baseman Chris Johnson to keep hitting the way he has since the All-Star break and they will need outfielder Justin Upton, first baseman Freddie Freeman and catcher Brian McCann to get on base and drive in runs out of the 3-4-5 spots in the batting order.
After all, they can’t keep letting quality starts go for naught.