CHICAGO – The team that entered this series on a 14-game win streak has lost two in a row to the team that had lost 10 in a row before this. Baseball can be weird.

The Braves on Saturday lost 6-3 to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Here are five observations about the Braves (37-29)

1. This was a strange game.

“To put it mildly,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Kyle Wright allowed a career-high 11 hits, but many of them were not hit hard. One of them, a double, took a wicked bounce past Adam Duvall in left field.

Then there was the strange double play. In the second inning, Duvall’s ball dropped in the outfield, and the Cubs still got two outs because of a weird double play. Chicago got a force out at second, and then Duvall was called out because first base coach Eric Young Sr. put his hands on Duvall, who appeared to be walking toward the dugout, to nudge him back to first base. It seemed like Duvall believed there already were three outs.

The Braves hit a lot of balls hard, including in the ninth, but didn’t have much to show for those.

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2. Wright, who has been terrific all season, allowed five runs on a career-high 11 hits. That sounds bad, but a closer look almost makes you feel bad for him.

On 20 balls in play, the Cubs’ average exit velocity against Wright was only 84 mph. (For context, 95 mph and above is considered a hard-hit ball). And nine of the 11 hits were singles.

The two doubles?

Willson Contreras hit one at 77 mph, and stretched it into a double because it rolled slowly into the outfield. Jason Heyward blooped the other at 68 mph.

“I thought I threw the ball pretty well,” Wright said. “Once I came out of the game, I realized I gave up 11 hits and I was like, ‘Jeez, what happened?’

With the wind blowing, homers have been at a premium. These teams have needed to manufacture runs in other ways. Chicago did that.

The Cubs on Saturday scored in each of the first three innings versus Wright.

“I didn’t feel like I gave up that many hits,” Wright said. “I thought I executed pretty good, got some soft contact. But put a ball in play and some things happen sometimes, so give them credit.”

3. The team that scored 27 runs in a three-game sweep of the Nationals, with almost its entire lineup clicking, has scored two in two games here thus far - both Saturday.

Once again, the Braves hit balls hard in a loss.

In the ninth inning, Ronald Acuña smoked a 113 mph lineout to left field for the second out. The game ended on Dansby Swanson’s 105 mph liner to left field.

The Braves already had scored a run in the inning. They had another runner on base, down three runs. They almost turned this game, but the balls didn’t fall.

“Those balls could’ve pierced a gap, and who knows what happens in that inning?” Snitker said. “But it happens. All you do is hit it, you can’t guide it. We hit some balls good today.”

Cubs 6, Braves 3

4. This was a wholesome scene: In the bottom of the first inning, brothers Willson and William Contreras embraced at home plate when Willson went up to bat with William behind the dish.

“Incredible,” William said after the game, through interpreter Franco García. “It’s one of those things that we’ve both dreamed about since we were young kids and just to experience that, it’s inexplicable. Very excited and happy. Dream come true. Kind of like a ‘We’ve made it’ moment, and now it’s just time to keep moving forward.”

Willson, the Cubs’ catcher, got the best of his brother’s squad, going 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and the win. Not to be forgotten, William went 2-for-4 with a double.

This marked the first time the brothers started against one another in the majors. They did so in front of their parents.

5. Minutes after Collin McHugh took the mound for the first time since his bout with COVID-19, he saw his first pitch sail into the right-field bleachers.

Rafael Ortega took a 89 mph cutter on the inside part of the plate and put it in the seats. It gave the Cubs a four-run lead.

Stat to know

4 - Four of the five runs against Wright came with two outs.


“It was really cool. I was hoping they kind of had a little bit of a moment there. I can only imagine if that was my brother. I would want to. It’s pretty special for two brothers to be able to do that. There’s not too many guys in this game that have been able to do that.” - Wright on the Contreras brothers embracing in the first inning

Up next

Right-hander Ian Anderson faces Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks in Sunday’s series finale, which begins at 2:20 p.m. ET.