The Braves began the season by being swept by the Mets and losing four games in a row. In the second series against that awful team from New York however the Braves are on a 5 game winning streak which includes a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. Atlanta is hoping to get some vengeance against David Wright and company at Turner Field with Chipper Jones getting his first appearance against the Metropolitans during the series.
The Mets started off the season strong and look to be a bit better than most people (myself included) anticipated. However the Braves have also been hot, are the better all around team, and should create a shift in the NL East pecking order after the series is over.
Monday 4/16, 7:10
On the mound for the Braves: Tommy Hanson
On the mound for the Mets: Dillon Gee
With Hanson and Gee facing off against each other this game becomes the immediate ‘must win’ for Atlanta as it is the most lopsided pitching matchup in favor of the Bravos. Some people are worried about his fastball velocity, but Hanson has the secondary pitches to remain effective. Gee pitched better than his 5.06 ERA might suggest and has good strikeout numbers so far, but gave up 8 hits in 5 innings in his only start.
Tuesday 4/17, 7:10
On the mound for the Braves: Randall Delgado
On the mound for the Mets: Johan Santana
Despite the fact that Johan Santana is looking better than he has since 2007 and Randall Delgado being a rookie this matchup isn’t the Braves worst. Delgado pitched well in his only start going 5 striking out 6 and giving up 5 hits and 2 walks. Santana has had fantastic strikeout numbers so far but is also giving up a good number of walks. The fact that he is left handed helps his cause but Matt Diaz has also been hot.
Wednesday 4/18, 12:10
On the mound for the Braves: Jair Jurrjens
On the mound for the Mets: R.A. Dickey
Clearly this is Atlanta’s worst matchup. Jurrjens has been the Braves’ worst pitcher and Dickey has arguably been the Mets’ best. Jurrjens has yet to go passed the 5th inning and has given up 4 home runs in just 9 1/3 innings. Dickey on the other hand has pitched well in 13 innings (2 starts) allowing just 3 runs.
Rolling & Strolling
- Jason Heyward- Heyward is leading the team in AVG, Runs, HR, 2nd in RBI, and tied for first in stolen bases. He is hitting .400/.429/.600 in his past 6 games and .346/.414/.577 on the season.
- Chipper Jones- In 3 games and 12 at bats Chipper is tied for leading the team in homers and has a triple slash of .417/.500/.917.
- Brian McCann- The best catcher in baseball has steadily been dominating again this year hitting .276/.333/.517 and .368/.429/.737 in his past five games including 2 long balls, 6 RBI, 4 Runs, 2 walks, and a stolen base.
- David Wright- Wright has a ridiculous .556/.615/.889 slash in his last 3 games including 5 hits, a homer 3 RBI, and 3 BB’s. He already has .7 WAR on the season.
- Ruben Tejada- I don’t think anyone was expect Tejada to put up a line of .333/.412/.500 at ANY point in the season but that’s what he has been up to lately. He also has shown pretty good discipline at the plate.
- Daniel Murphy- Murphy might be cooling off a bit, but he still has a .300/.417/.433 line on the season and has already taken 6 walks.
- Freddie Freeman- Freeman went hitless in the sweep against Milwaukee and has looked rough for most of the year. He has a slash of .182/.229/.212 and 13 strikeouts to just 2 walks.
- Tyler Pastornicky- Like Freeman, TP didn’t get a single hit against the Brewers and is looking at a .154/.214/.385 slash over the past 4 games.
New York Mets:
- Lucas Duda- The last 6 games haven’t gone well for Duda. He has racked up 8 K’s to 2 BB’s and is hitting .143/.208/.333 in that span.
- Ike Davis- Davis has put up a pretty similar 6 games, striking out 6 times compared to 2 walks and a line of .100/.182/.100
Both teams have been playing well lately but the Braves are going up against New York’s top 2 pitchers after escaping the top two of the Brewers. The bats are going to have to stay alive and the pitchers will have to find a way to get a scorching David Wright out. Chipper Jones has a history of demolishing the Mets as well as hating them so you can bet he will have all of the guys ready to roll come game time.
Also, Vinny Cartiglia will be putting up a Q & A he did with me, discussing the Mets-Braves series on Mets Blog. I will update this post and give you the exact link when it goes up if you would like to check that out. The rivalry, Chipper Jones, and Jason Heyward are among the topics we discussed. Here is the link to the interview. Not all of the questions were published however.
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