Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Game 100 Preview: Atlanta Braves (56-43) at New York Mets (43-52)

Pitching Probables:
RHP Kris Medlen (ATL) 6-9, 3.64 ERA
RHP Carlos Torres (NYM) 0-1, 0.79 ERA

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

Braves (career vs. Torres):
Andrelton Simmons - SS (0-1)
Jason Heyward - CF (1-3)
Justin Upton - RF (0-2, BB, K)
Freddie Freeman - 1B (0-2)
Brian McCann - C (0-1, K)
Evan Gattis - LF (N/A)
Dan Uggla - 2B (0-2, K)
Chris Johnson - 3B (0-2, K)
Kris Medlen - P (0-0, BB)

Mets (career vs. Medlen):
Eric Young Jr. - LF (1-3, K)
Daniel Murphy - 2B (4-19, 2 2B, RBI, 2 K)
David Wright - 3B (5-22, 2B, 2 BB, 7 K)
Marlon Byrd - RF (2-7, RBI, 4 K)
Ike Davis - 1B (4-18, HR, RBI, 5 BB, 5 K)
John Buck - C (1-8, HR, RBI, BB, 2 K)
Juan Lagares - CF (N/A)
Omar Quintanilla - SS (0-3)
Carlos Torres - P (N/A)

When Shaun Marcum struggled in his June 19 start against the Braves, Carlos Torres proved his worth by striking out four in 2 1/3 impressive innings just a few days after being promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas. Looking back, it was the performance that ultimately led Torres to taking Marcum's spot in the rotation. Tonight, Torres will make his second start since replacing Marcum as the Mets look to even up the four-game series against Braves starter Kris Medlen.
In the Saturday before the All-Star break, Torres allowed just one run over five innings and struck out five Pirates in the 4-2 loss. It was Torres' first Major League start since 2010.
Kris Medlen has also seen his spot in the rotation called into question as the Braves have been weighing their options of getting Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood into the rotation by the end of the month. Braves sent Wood down to Triple-A Gwinnett just before the All-Star break to get stretched out to start and will make his second Major League start Thursday afternoon, opposing Mets starter Zack Wheeler. Beachy will make his final rehab start before making his return from Tommy John surgery and right elbow inflammation.
In the meantime, Medlen has seen the mechanics issues that plagued him earlier this season reemerge, making the right-hander a likely candidate to return to the bullpen. In his last two starts, Medlen has allowed 10 runs on 17 hits.

Maholm to 15-day DL, Wood to start on Thursday:
Braves officially place LHP Paul Maholm on the 15-day disabled list with a left wrist contusion after he left his start early against the White Sox last Saturday. While the lefty recovers, Alex Wood gets his first chance to take over Maholm's spot in the rotation on Thursday against the Mets. Wood made his first Major League start against the same Mets on June 18, lasting just three innings in the 4-3 loss.

Jason Heyward's return:
Although he went 0-for-3 at the plate in last night's game, Braves OF Jason Heyward returned with a flourish after missing six games with a strained right hamstring, making the game-saving diving catch in center field with two outs and two runners on base in the ninth inning, which likely would have scored both if Heyward does not make the catch.

Juan Lagares named NL Player of the Week:
With his 7-for-10, five-RBI performance at the plate in the first series after the All-Star break, Mets CF Juan Lagares was rewarded with National League Player of the Week honors before Monday's game. However, Kirk Nieuwenhuis is still expected to see majority of the playing time in center field. Lagares did replace Nieuwenhuis in the seventh inning of last night's game, going 0-for-2 with a groundout and a strikeout. Lagares is in the lineup tonight, playing in center field and will hit seventh.

Side note:
Mets are 15-11 since taking three of five from the Braves back in mid-June.
Braves notched their 30th comeback victory this season, which is tied with the Kansas City Royals for the most in the Majors.
Mets lost their fifth game of the season last night when leading after eight innings. Their record in one-run games dropped to 17-18.

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