Thursday, June 20, 2013

Game 74 Preview: New York Mets (27-41) at Atlanta Braves (43-30)

Pitching Probables:
LHP Jon Niese (NYM) 3-6, 4.15 ERA
LHP Mike Minor (ATL) 8-2, 2.68 ERA

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

Mets (career vs. Minor):
Eric Young Jr. - LF (N/A)
Daniel Murphy - 2B (2-12, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 K)
David Wright - 3B (2-17, 2 2B, RBI, 3 BB, 7 K)
Marlon Byrd - RF (4-13, 2B, RBI, 2 K)
Lucas Duda - 1B (5-14, 2B, HR, RBI, 3 K)
John Buck - C (1-11, HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K)
Juan Lagares - CF (0-3, K)
Omar Quintanilla - SS (N/A)
Jon Niese - P (1-4, 3 K)

Braves (career vs. Niese):
Tyler Pastornicky - 2B (0-1)
Jason Heyward - RF (8-20, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K)
Freddie Freeman - 1B (7-22, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 K)
Justin Upton - LF (6-13, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, K)
BJ Upton - CF (1-2, BB, K)
Chris Johnson - 3B (2-8, 2B, RBI, BB)
Gerald Laird - C (1-3, RBI, K)
Andrelton Simmons - SS (2-6, 2B)
Mike Minor - P (0-3, 2 K)

In two starts against the Mets this season, Braves LHP Mike Minor has been dominant. He's allowed only three runs in 14 1/3 innings, all coming courtesy of the home run ball. Minor looks to stop that trend of long balls as he takes the mound tonight in the rubber match of the five-game series between the Braves and Mets at Turner Field. In his last start against the Giants last Saturday, Minor allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits, walked one, and struck out seven in the no-decision.
Meanwhile, Jon Niese gets the start for the Mets, looking for his first win since May 16. Niese (3-6, 4.15 ERA) struggled early on in his last start against Cubs, allowing a two-run single to Scott Feldman, the opposing pitcher. Niese was able to settle down and finished strong, going 5 2/3 innings. The lefty did not have his best stuff, but he still had an effective outing, allowing the two runs on six hits in the loss. Niese has one other start this season against the Braves. In that start he was lit up, allowing seven runs on seven hits, walked six, and struck out three in the May 5 loss.

Scott Atchison back to the DL, Andrew Brown called up:
Mets placed reliever Scott Atchison back on the disabled list on Wednesday and recalled OF Andrew Brown from Triple-A Las Vegas. Atchison suffered a strained right groin while warming up during game two of Tuesday's doubleheader. Atchison was activated from the DL on Monday after a month-long stint due to right elbow inflammation.
The move allowed the Mets to balance out their roster, moving their bench back to five players and temporarily going with an eight-man bullpen.

Alex Wood hopes to be available in 'pen this weekend:
After a three inning, 73-pitch effort in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader, Alex Wood hopes to be available in the bullpen this weekend against the Brewers.
Wood was forced to make a spot start when Brandon Beachy was scratched due to inflammation in his right elbow. Wood had not thrown more than 35 pitches in any of his six appearances since being called up to the Majors.

Side note:
Jon Niese is 6-4 with a 3.64 ERA in 13 career appearances against the Braves.
Zack Wheeler went back to Triple-A Las Vegas, but will join the Mets next week in Chicago. The move allows for the Mets to carry an extra reliever for the final game of the series in Atlanta and this weekend in Philadelphia.
Braves INF Ramiro Pena has seen his playing time minimized since he landed awkwardly on his right shoulder during the June 9 win in Los Angeles. The switch-hitting Pena, who was normally inserted into the lineup when the Braves were playing against a tough right-hander, has started just two of the team's past ten games.
In eight career starts against the Mets, Mike Minor is 4-1, but posts an inflated ERA of 4.73.

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