Braves Look To Stay Perfect Against Mets

Written by Jonathan on April 26, 2008 – 12:57 pm

The Braves (12-11) are a perfect 3-0 against the Mets (11-11) so far this season and they look to stay on this course today. Tim Hudson (3-1, 2.93) has looked sharp thus far this season as the front end of our great 1-2 punch in the rotation.  Today he’ll face off against John Maine (1-2, 3.57) who has been streaky this season but is very capable of putting together a good outing.

The Braves’ll be missing a few key players today however.  Yunel Escobar is out with his injured hand from a bunt-gone-bad in last night’s game.  He’ll be replaced by Brent Lillibridge who was called up from Richmond last night.  Chipper Jones has also been scratched with back spasms.  He will be replaced by Martin Prado.  These could be key offensive and defensive injuries for the Braves.  We’ll see the effect it has.

The Mets are struggling right now so hopefully we can keep on them.  It’s time for Saturday afternoon baseball!

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Braves Crush Mets, 11-5

Written by Jonathan on April 6, 2008 – 10:22 am

In a rainy matchup, the Braves’ offense took it to the Mets’ pitching in yesterday’s matchup that pitted John Maine against Tim Hudson.  Maine never really settled into a groove of looking comfortable, walking three and giving up eight hits and four runs in only four innings of work.  Hudson looked decently strong in his outing, issuing six hits, striking out four, throwing no walks, and giving up three earned runs through six innings.  The Braves provided the needed run support to give Hudson his first win of the season.  I still think Maine will have a solid season for the Mets, he just struggled to find the needed consistency in yesterday’s game.

The Braves got on the board early by scoring in the first inning and continued to do so throughout the game.  Kelly Johnson sealed the victory in the 7th while pinch hitting for Peter Moylan with the bases loaded.  Johnson drove one deep over the right field wall for a grand slam, putting the Braves up 9-3 at the time.  The Mets and Braves both scored 2 in the 8th to bring the final score to 11-5.  Hopefully the Braves saved some offense for today’s game that surely will be a pitcher’s duel.

The strange point in the game came in the Mets’ half of the 5th inning.  The bases were loaded with 1 out for Jose Reyes, who drove a sharp line drive to center.  Mark Kotsay made a diving stab at the ball, but apparently was a trap instead of a catch.  I had to confirm with JB from as he was enjoying the game in the dry warmth of his home instead of sitting out in the cold rain with the rest of us.  Kotsay relayed the ball back to the infield into what was originally scored a 8-2-4 double play.  In one of the stranger moments I’ve seen in baseball, the call was actually reversed, the runners were sent back to the bases and the Braves were sent back out in to the field.  In the end, it proved irrelevant.

Today’s matchup is the much awaited meeting of John Smoltz and Johan Santana.  Two aces of their respective staffs, facing off against one another.  This is what baseball is really all about.

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Braves, Mets Kick Off Season Rivalry

Written by Jonathan on April 5, 2008 – 2:45 pm

With severe thunderstorms threatening in the Atlanta area last night, the opening game of the Mets/Braves series was postponed until May 20th. Today, with showers still fairly persistent in the area, Tim Hudson (0-0, 2.57) is set to square off against John Maine (0-0, -.–) in the opener of a now two-game series against the Mets.  This series sets the stage for a season-long rivalry between the Braves (1-3) and the Mets (2-1).

In the 18 games played between the two squads last season, the final result was a 9-9 split.  I think at this point, that is the mark that both sides will be shooting for this season; noone wants to be on the losing side of this series at the end of the season.  The Mets have bumped Mike Pelfrey from his start tomorrow to keep Santana on schedule Sunday to pitch against Glavine and the Braves.

Hudson’s looking for a little more run support from the Braves’ bats than he received in the season opener against the Nationals, in which he only issued 3 hits across 7 innings of work.  The Braves ended up falling 3-2 in that game with Hudson receiving a no decision.

We’ll see if the weather holds out for the game today.  The forecast looks as if the rain should start to taper off around the start time of the game.  Turner Field handles water pretty well, so hopefully we’ll only see a slight delay, if the game is delayed at all.  The game’s at 3:55, so we have a little bit of time to handle rain delays.

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Mets at Braves – Series Preview

Written by Jonathan on April 4, 2008 – 12:15 pm

The New York Mets (2-1) come to town this evening to face off against the Braves (1-3) who are looking to pick up the pace after a slow start on the season.  This early matchup highlights one of the key rivalries in the NL East for the season, in what is expected to be a 3-way race between the Mets, Phillies and Braves.  I’m looking to see some solid starting pitching matchups on both sides.

Projected Starters:
Friday: John Maine (0-0, -.–, RHP) vs. Tim Hudson (0-0, 2.57, RHP)
Tim Hudson looks to get a little more run support from the squad than he did during his first start on opening day against the Nationals, where he only issued 3 hits through 7 innings of work.  John Maine makes his first start of the season for the Mets.  Both pitchers should be highly effective and I look to see a battle of two potent offenses against solid pitching.

Saturday: Mike Pelfrey (0-0, -.–, RHP) vs. Tom Glavine (0-0, 1.80, LHP)
Tom Glavine faces the Mets for the first time since coming back to pitch in a Braves uniform.  Hopefully Tommy will make it a little deeper into the game than on Monday against the Pirates, where he gave up 7 hits in 5 innings.  Glavine got shelled the first time he played against the Braves when he went to the Mets; let’s hope the favor isn’t returned.  Of the starters we’ll see from the Mets this weekend, I think Pelfrey has the potential to be the weakest link.

Sunday: Johan Santana (1-0, 2.57, LHP) vs. John Smoltz (0-0, -.–, RHP)
This is the pitching matchup that Braves and Mets fans alike are looking forward to.  John Smoltz looks to make his first start of the regular season coming off of the 15-day disabled list.  The Mets’ golden boy, Santana, looks to extend his record to 2-0.  This should be a great matchup to watch as long as Smoltz is back to feeling up to pitching at full strength.

Offensive Matchup:
The Braves and Mets have two potent offenses (1st and 2nd in the NL in runs scored, respectively).  It’s hard to really tell how those numbers pan out at the start of the season, but it still shows that the teams are capable of putting runs on the board.  I don’t expect to see as large of offensive numbers from these games on account of solid pitching, but one swing of the bat on either side could influence the tone of the entire series.

I doubt we’ll see a sweep by either team in this series and I’m going to give a 2-1 advantage to the Braves on a couple of conditions.  First of all, it’s a home series and the fans are buzzing for this one.  Secondly, that prediction only holds true if Smoltz is at full strength to go up against Santana.  I can’t possibly predict which games go which way, but I expect to see some hard fought games on both sides of the ball.

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