Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Game 101 Preview: Atlanta Braves (56-44) at New York Mets (44-52)

Pitching Probables:
RHP Tim Hudson (ATL) 7-7, 4.08 ERA
RHP Jeremy Hefner (NYM) 4-7, 3.93 ERA

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

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

Mets (career vs. Hudson):
Eric Young Jr. - LF (0-6, K)
Daniel Murphy - 2B (4-20, 2B, BB, 3 K)
David Wright - 3B (18-74, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 BB, 8 K)
Marlon Byrd - RF (1-8, 4 K)
Ike Davis - 1B (4-16, 2B, 5 BB, 3 K)      
Kirk Nieuwenhuis - CF (1-4, 2 RBI, BB, K)
Anthony Recker - C (N/A)
Omar Qunitanilla - SS (0-2, BB, K)
Jeremy Hefner - P (N/A)

Jeremy Hefner and Tim Hudson knocked off the rust with varying degrees of success in their last start last Friday night, but with the way this series has gone offensively for both teams, neither starting pitcher should expect any run support. So far in the series between the Braves and Mets, the offenses have combined for just eight runs and have left 29 runners on base.
For Mets starter Jeremy Hefner, tonight could not come any sooner after he was ripped for eight runs on 10 hits and last Friday's 13-8 loss to the Phillies before getting the hook from Terry Collins. The eight runs Hefner allowed were as many as he had in his previous six starts combined.
Meanwhile, Hudson nearly squandered the three-run lead Brian McCann staked him to on Friday, but had an overall solid outing, allowing four earned runs in 7 1/3 innings as the Bravs opened up their post-All-Star break schedule with a 6-4 win over the White Sox. Hudson has been getting more run support lately than earlier in the season. Braves have won Hudson's last four starts, whilst giving him six or more runs of support in each start. Prior to that stretch, Braves had scored five runs or less in Hudson's nine previous starts.

No timetable for BJ's return:
Braves CF BJ Upton has been cleared to resume jogging exercises and hitting off a tee, his first baseball-related activity since straining his right adductor muscle diving for a line drive on July 12. Braves have not established a timetable for Upton's return, and will not be ready to come off of the disabled list when he is eligible on Saturday, but he could begin a Minor League rehab stint as early as next week.

Shaun Marcum released, Mets to start Jenrry Mejia Friday:
Mets released P Shaun Marcum shortly before Tuesday's game after receiving confirmation that the injured right-hander was unlikely to pitch again this season. Marcum was placed on the disabled list on July 9 and underwent shoulder surgery after he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, which compresses the nerves or blood vessels just below the neck.
Mets have also announced that 23-year-old right-hander Jenrry Mejia will start game 1 of a doubleheader on Friday against the Nationals. Mejia will make his first appearance of the season after allowing one run in his first two starts for Double-A Binghamton.

Side note:
Braves SS Andrelton Simmons hit his third career leadoff home run in last night's 4-1 loss to the Mets.
Mets 1B Ike Davis continued his hot hitting against the Braves this season with an RBI double in last night's game. Although Davis has been inconsistent at the plate for the entire season, he is 7-for-21 (.333) with four RBIs against the Braves in 2013.

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