|ATLANTA ( WOOD )|
NY METS ( WHEELER )
|951||ATLANTA||-105||Ov 8,-110||-120||Ov 7.5,+100|
|952||NY METS||-105||Un 8,-110||+110||Un 7.5,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||42-32||-0.1||37-30||4.4||0.251||0.318||3.5||0.252||0.305|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.6||4-3||4.0||0.243||0.296||4.6||0.259||0.328|
|vs Left-handed Starters||21-14||+11.3||19-14||4.3||0.243||0.314||4.3||0.244||0.303|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.7||3-4||4.1||0.256||0.317||4.3||0.240||0.286|
|7/19/2013||HUDSON(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)||6-4||W||-115||9 un||O||9||2||0||9||6||0|
|7/20/2013||MAHOLM(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||PEAVY(R)||6-10||L||105||9 un||O||10||4||1||13||7||1|
|7/21/2013||MINOR(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||1-3||L||-125||8.5 ov||U||9||11||1||5||4||0|
|7/22/2013||TEHERAN(R)||@ NY METS||GEE(R)||2-1||W||-125||7.5 ov||U||6||8||0||5||8||0|
|7/23/2013||MEDLEN(R)||@ NY METS||TORRES(R)||1-4||L||-130||7.5 ov||U||7||9||0||9||4||0|
|7/24/2013||HUDSON(R)||@ NY METS||HEFNER(R)||8-2||W||-135||7.5 ov||O||8||4||0||6||4||2|
|7/25/2013||WOOD(L)||@ NY METS||WHEELER(R)|| |
|7/26/2013||MINOR(L)||ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)|| |
|7/27/2013||TEHERAN(R)||ST LOUIS||KELLY(R)|| |
|7/28/2013||MEDLEN(R)||ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)|| |
|7/29/2013||BEACHY(R)||COLORADO||DE LA ROSA(L)|| |
|8/1/2013|| ||COLORADO|| || |
|7/12/2013||HEFNER(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||MORTON(R)||2-3||L||135||7.5 un||U||9||7||0||6||8||0|
|7/13/2013||TORRES(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||BURNETT(R)||2-4||L||160||7.5 un||U||8||10||0||10||8||0|
|7/14/2013||GEE(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||COLE(R)||4-2||W||145||7.5 un||U||9||6||2||9||9||0|
|7/26/2013||MEJIA(R)||@ WASHINGTON||ZIMMERMANN(R)|| |
|7/26/2013||HARVEY(R)||@ WASHINGTON||OHLENDORF(R)|| |
|7/27/2013||GEE(R)||@ WASHINGTON||HAREN(R)|| |
|7/28/2013||TORRES(R)||@ WASHINGTON||STRASBURG(R)|| |
|7/29/2013||HEFNER(R)||@ MIAMI||TURNER(R)|| |
|7/30/2013||WHEELER(R)||@ MIAMI||EOVALDI(R)|| |
|7/31/2013|| ||@ MIAMI||ALVAREZ(R)|| |
|8/1/2013|| ||@ MIAMI|| || |
|ATLANTA: HITTING: The Braves were 27th in the majors in steals last year, but that number should rise with a full season of speedster OF MICHAEL BOURN, who was acquired from Houston last July. OFs MARTIN PRADO and JASON HEYWARD comprise the corner outfield spots, and are both are looking to bounce back after disappointing, injury-riddled 2011 campaigns. 2B DAN UGGLA smacked a career-best 36 HR in his first year with Atlanta, his fifth straight 30-homer season. Steady veterans C BRIAN McCANN and 3B CHIPPER JONES comprise a solid middle of the lineup. McCann has four straight 20-HR, 70-RBI seasons, while Jones, who turns 40 in April, has a career .402 on-base percentage. 1B FREDDIE FREEMAN was the N.L.'s best offensive rookie last year, batting .282 with 21 HR and 76 RBI. The starting shortstop will be one of two highly-touted, 22-year-old prospects, TYLER PASTORNICKY or ANDRELTON SIMMONS. |
STARTING PITCHING: Even with significant injuries to three starters, the Braves rotation still ranked ninth in the majors in ERA (3.73), thanks to TIM HUDSON posting a 3.22 ERA in 215 innings. The right-hander was lights-out at Turner Field again, going 10-4 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. But he'll be out at least a month because of back problems. JAIR JURRJENS was outstanding through the end of July (12-3, 2.38 ERA), but a knee strain bothered him in August and shut him down for September. Although many teams inquired about Jurrjens in the offseason, it doesn't look like the Braves want to deal him just yet. TOMMY HANSON is another young star (25) that had to be shut down in early August due to a partially torn rotator cuff. His ERA was a career-worst 3.60, but he notched a career-best 9.8 K/9 rate. BRANDON BEACHY, also 25, posted a whopping 10.7 K/9 ratio with a respectable ERA (3.68) and WHIP (1.21). Atlanta is loaded with young pitchers, but expect MIKE MINOR (5-3, 4.14 ERA) and RANDALL DELGADO to start in the majors, with JULIO TEHERAN, who has the most upside of the trio, to begin 2012 in Triple-A.
RELIEF PITCHING: CRAIG KIMBREL exceeded all expectations last year, establishing himself as one of the best closers in the game. He struck out an eye-popping 14.8 batters per nine (127 K in 77 IP), and converted 46-of-54 (85%) save chances. Even though Kimbrel's job as a closer is probably locked down for the next decade, the Braves have two other great relievers, both lefties. JONNY VENTERS posted a 1.84 WHIP and .176 opponents' BA in 88 innings, and is next in line for saves (five in 2011) should Kimbrel suffer an injury. Fellow southpaw ERIC O'FLAHERTY had a 0.98 ERA (8 ER in 73.2 IP) and 32 holds, just three fewer than Venters.
|NY METS: HITTING: The Mets will be moving in the fences at Citi Field by as much as 12 feet and reducing the height to eight feet, making the park more homer-friendly. The loss of Jose Reyes and his NL-leading average at the top of the order weakens an already subpar lineup. 3B DAVID WRIGHT is coming off his worst season (.254 BA, 14 HR, 61 RBI) and could be traded at the July 31 deadline. New OF ANDRES TORRES provides very little at the plate (.221 BA, .312 OBP), but the future is bright for youngsters OF LUCAS DUDA (.852 OPS) and 1B IKE DAVIS (.926 OPS), who missed most of 2011 with an ankle injury. OF JASON BAY (.245 BA) continues to be a colossal bust. SS RUBEN TEJADA will be tasked with trying to replace Reyes. The 22-year-old made great strides last year, batting .319 after August 1. DANIEL MURPHY hit .320 last year, and will start at second, possibly losing AB in a platoon with JUSTIN TURNER. C JOSH THOLE hits well enough to be an above-average starting catcher. |
STARTING PITCHING: With the fences moving forward at Citi Field, the entire Mets pitching staff takes a hit. JOHAN SANTANA will be ready for Opening Day, but it's hard to have much faith that he'll remain healthy for an entire season. His velocity on his fastball is not what it used to be, topping out in the high-80's. MIKE PELFREY benefitted most from the pitcher-friendly ballpark with serviceable home numbers (3.94 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) and atrocious road statistics (5.49 ERA, 1.56 WHIP). JONATHON NIESE was also much better at Citi Field (3.54 ERA) than he was on the road (5.33 ERA), but he posted 14 games of 6+ strikeouts for the second straight season. DILLON GEE began the season 7-0 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, but closed the 2011 campaign with a 5.51 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in his final 17 starts. Knuckle-balling R.A. DICKEY posted a second straight solid season with New York, notching a 3.28 ERA and a solid 1.23 WHIP. At age 37, he hopes to keep his pitches dancing in the smaller home ballpark.
RELIEF PITCHING: Two former Blue Jays late-innings relievers, FRANK FRANCISCO and JON RAUCH, were signed from Toronto to pitch at the back of the bullpen. Francisco will likely get first crack at the ninth-inning role, saving 17 games last year and keeping his strikeout rate above one per inning for the fourth straight year. Rauch is an imposing figure at 6-foot-11, but he posted a 1.35 WHIP and paltry 6.2 strikeout rate last year. But 52 saves since 2008 makes him a worthy candidate for ninth-inning duty. RAMON RAMIREZ was part of the Andres Torres/Angel Pagan trade and he should be a valuable set-up man. He had a strong two-year stint with San Francisco, posting a 2.07 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (ATLANTA-NY METS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Braves-Mets Preview* =====================
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer
Atlanta (56-44) at New York (44-52), 12:10 p.m. EDT
Alex Wood is trying to show the Atlanta Braves he's capable of earning a spot in their banged-up rotation.
Zack Wheeler is just trying to show the New York Mets some consistency.
A day after the Braves lost Tim Hudson to a broken ankle, Wood gets the ball in place of another injured starter as the Braves attempt to solve Wheeler in the finale of this four-game series at Citi Field on Thursday.
Atlanta (57-44) has been without sinkerballer Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery) all season, and they've lost two more starters in Hudson and Paul Maholm (wrist contusion) this week.
Hudson became the latest injured Brave during Wednesday's 8-2 win over the Mets (44-53). The veteran right-hander was covering first on a close play in the eighth inning when New York's Eric Young stepped on his ankle, resulting in a gruesome injury in which Hudson collapsed to the ground before being carted off.
"It's terrible," second baseman Dan Uggla said. "That's a big blow."
Hudson's injury, which could rule him out for the season, may put more of an onus on Wood (0-2, 2.45 ERA) to claim a spot in the rotation. The 22-year-old rookie left-hander was already scheduled to replace Maholm, who was placed on the disabled Monday.
Wood, however, will need to show improvement since he was charged with a 4-3 loss to the Mets in his only career start June 18. He gave up one run with five strikeouts and three walks in three innings while throwing 73 pitches in the first game of a doubleheader.
"It's his second start in the big leagues," manager Fredi Gonzalez told the team's official website. "I think this will be a little more comfortable start."
Wood's other 15 games for the Braves came in relief, but he's 5-2 with a 1.31 ERA in 11 starts in the minors. He allowed one run and three hits with five strikeouts while hitting two batters in five innings for Triple-A Gwinnett last Thursday, an outing designed to prepare him for this opportunity.
The Mets will counter Wood with Wheeler (3-1, 3.58), who is facing the Braves for the first time since beating them in the second game of the June 18 twinbill. The 23-year-old right-hander from nearby Smyrna, Ga., was terrific in Atlanta, striking out seven in six scoreless innings while walking five and giving up four hits in a 6-1 win to help the Mets complete the sweep.
Wheeler, though, hasn't been very sharp in two home starts, going 0-1 while surrendering seven runs and 13 hits - two homers - while fanning 10 and walking four in 9 1-3 innings.
"You're in the big leagues, you want consistency," Wheeler told the team's official website. "You're a starting pitcher, you want consistency."
Marlon Byrd is 10 for 27 (.370) over his last seven games with Atlanta, and his two hits Wednesday continued his surge this month. He's batting .329 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 19 games.
The right fielder had an RBI single in his only at-bat versus Wood on June 18.
Uggla has a .419 average over his last nine visits to Flushing and is 4 for 7 with a homer and three RBIs in the past two games. He doubled in three at-bats versus Wheeler.
|Last Updated: 10/21/2014 10:33:23 AM EST|