Monday, June 17, 2013

Game 70 Preview: New York Mets (25-39) at Atlanta Braves (41-28)

Pitching Probables:
RHP Dillon Gee (NYM) 5-6, 4.84 ERA
RHP Tim Hudson (ATL) 4-6, 4.41 ERA

Tonight's Starting Lineups (7:10 pm ET, SportSouth):

Mets (career vs. Hudson)
Juan Lagares - CF (N/A)
Daniel Murphy - 2B (4-18, 2B, BB, 3 K)
David Wright - 3B (17-71, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 BB, 8 K)
Lucas Duda - 1B (6-23, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K)
Marlon Byrd - RF (1-5, 2 K)
John Buck - C (2-16, 2 BB, K)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis - LF (1-2, 2 RBI, K)
Omar Quintanilla - SS (N/A)
Dillon Gee - P (0-3, 3 K)

Braves (career vs. Gee)
Andrelton Simmons - SS (2-3, 2B)
Jason Heyward - RF (7-15, HR, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 3 K)
Justin Upton - LF (3-11, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 6 K)
Freddie Freeman - 1B (2-14, 2 RBI, K)
Evan Gattis - C (0-3, K)
BJ Upton - CF (N/A)
Dan Uggla - 2B (4-21, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 4 K)
Chris Johnson - 3B (3-5, 2B, RBI, K)
Tim Hudson - P (0-3, 2 K)

Right-handers Dillon Gee and Tim Hudson are set to take the mound for their respective teams tonight as the Mets and Braves begin a five-game series, which includes a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday at Turner Field. With the MLB debut of Zack Wheeler looming, every start matters for Dillon Gee, who's ERA was hovering around 6.00 for most of the season. But the righty is undefeated so far in June and has allowed just two earned runs in his last two starts, lowering his ERA from 5.68 to 4.84 in that span.
Gee is battling with Jeremy Hefner for a rotation spot with Wheeler making his debut in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday. In his previous start against the Cardinals, Gee went a solid 6 2/3 innings while allowing just one run, battling through forearm tendinitis that has bothered him since Spring Training.
Tim Hudson on the other hand, is winless in his last seven starts, has pitched into the eighth inning in two of his last three and seems to have fixed his mechanical issues he suffered through in May. The veteran right-hander looks to continue his upward trend as he is 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in six home starts this season.

Alex Wood to make his first Major League start:
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez announced shortly after Sunday night's game that rookie Alex Wood will make his first Major League start for the Braves in the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday. Paul Maholm will pitch the nightcap.
Wood was a starter down in Double-A Mississippi, but since he was called up at the end of May, he hasn't pitched more than two innings in any of his six relief appearances in the Majors. That will most likely mean that Wood will be limited in terms of how many innings he will pitch.

Mets offense slumping:
While the Mets pitching has been a weak spot for the club for most of the season, the offense hasn't been helping much as of late, either. Since sweeping the Yankees at the end of May, the Mets have averaged a little over three runs per game. The offense has a tough task to tangle with this week as they face the Braves who own a team ERA of 3.23, which leads the Majors.

Side note:
Braves have won three of five from the Mets this season, while splitting two games at Turner Field.
David Wright has at least a hit in eight of his last nine games and is 16-for-38 (.421) with two homers and five RBIs during that stretch. He also has multiple hits in five of those games.
Dillon Gee struggled against the Braves back on May 25. He surrendered five runs on eight hits, and struck out four in just five innings in the 6-0 loss.
Back on May 5 against these same Mets, Tim Hudson pitched 7 1/3 strong innings, allowing three runs on five hits, walked one, and struck out seven in the 9-4 win.

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