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New York Mets-Atlanta Braves Series Preview

Now that the Mets have played a series against all the teams in the NL East, it’s time for another go around. This time up against the last place division rival Atlanta Braves. This is unfamiliar territory for the Mets, as they find themselves near the basement of the division.

The Mets could really use this series at this point in time. Ever since the 16 inning game they won over the Marlins back on April 13th, the Mets have won only one game since then. Posting an abysmal 1-8 record since, they currently sit at 8-11 and 5 games back of the Washington Nationals.

The Mets need to string together a couple of wins and hopefully regain some traction that they most certainly have lost over this losing streak. Yoenis Cespedes is likely back from his injury, so add his bat alongside the white hot Michael Conforto and you may actually hopefully see a string of W’s at Citi Field.

Besides Cespedes, the Mets are missing first baseman Lucas Duda (hyperextended left elbow) and infielder Wilmer Flores (right knee infection), both on the 10-day disabled list. They also played Sunday without catcher Travis d’Arnaud, whose right wrist hasn’t healed enough for him to throw.

**Game 1 of this series was rained out and will be played in a doubleheader on September 25th, the last series of the season. This could certainly put the Mets at a disadvantage if they are in a playoff race.

Game 2: Robert Gsellman (0-1 5.09 ERA) vs. Julio Teheran (1-1 3.52 ERA)

Gsellman is looking for his first win of the season, he had his best start in his last outing against the Phillies where he went seven strong innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits. Taking the mound for the Braves will be the youngster who went inning for inning opening day against Noah Syndergaard, Julio Teheran. The Mets were able to get to the Braves bullpen way back when and then tack on all of their runs.

Teheran has posted a 0.63 ERA over his past six starts against the Mets, a span that dates back to June 21, 2015. The Braves’ young ace has allowed one earned run and 10 hits over his past 22 innings (three starts) at Citi Field. His latest outing here occurred on Opening Day, when he scattered four hits over six scoreless innings.

This matchup against the Braves this one could be the more difficult one. Teheran has the Mets number and knows what he has to do to get the job done, go the distance. On Opening Day you can assume he was on a pitch count. Now that he’s making his fifth start, I’d expect Braves skipper Brian Snitker allow his ace go as long as possible.

 Game 3: Noah Syndergaard (1-1 1.73 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (1-2 3.86 ERA)

 This is an interesting matchup for sure. It’s always funny to me when guys who were traded for one another face off against each other in any sport. R.A Dickey no longer a part of the Blue Jays organization, where he was traded to by the Mets. He finds himself in a new ballpark to call home this year in Atlanta. For this series though, he will be back in his old stomping grounds in Queens.

Noah Syndergaard didn’t look so godly in his last outing. He looked human. Getting touched up early, allowing five runs (three of them earned) in just the first three innings to the Philadelphia Phillies. Besides that little blunder, it has been nothing but quality starts and triple digits on the radar gun for Thor. He’s done all that can be asked of him and just like every time he takes the mound I expect him to perform remarkably.

R.A Dickey, as a knuckleball pitcher, is always a wildcard. He’s averaging just under four runs a game and has allowed 19 hits in just three starts, so this could be a good thing for the Mets. A nice opportunity for them to wake up the bats and get guys swinging and on base. Hopefully not having to rely strictly on the long ball to carry them to victory.

 

The Mets could really use a clean sweep here to hopefully make up some ground in the NL East. The starters have been fantastic, and in doing so, the bullpen hasn’t been truly exposed for how EH it really is. The bats need to start doing their thing. I’m ecstatic that the Mets are hitting the long ball but we need guys on base to get all the bang for our buck. This series can do that for this team. These are the games the Mets are supposed to win, to prove that they belong playing for that glorious trophy at the end of the season.

About Matt Jackson

- News Technical Director in Albany, NY - Former NYR Reporter for Stan Fischler - Washed up hockey player

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