Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Alex Wood (0-2, 2.45) vs. Zack Wheeler (3-1, 3.58)
- Eric Young, Jr. – LF
- Daniel Murphy – 2B
- David Wright – 3B
- Marlon Byrd – RF
- Josh Satin – 1B
- Justin Turner – SS
- John Buck – C
- Juan Lagares – CF
- Zack Wheeler – RHP
- RHP Jeremy Hefner had another rough start Wednesday night, when he allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits and one walk in 4 1/3 innings during an 8-2 loss. The Braves chased him with a five-run fifth in which Hefner surrendered a three-run homer to Dan Uggla and a two-run homer to Andrelton Simmons. In his two second-half starts, Hefner has allowed 14 runs (13 earned) on 16 hits in just 6 1/3 innings as his ERA has risen from 3.33 to 4.17. He allowed just 18 runs (nine earned) in 44 innings over his final seven starts prior to the All-Star Break.
- RHP Zack Wheeler will look to be more efficient when he takes the mound for the Mets on Thursday afternoon in the finale of a four-game series against the Braves at Citi Field. Wheeler was pulled one out shy of qualifying for the win in his last start on Saturday, when he allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five over 4 2/3 innings in the Mets’ 5-4 victory. Wheeler faced 23 batters and went to a full count with six of them. Command has been an issue thus far in the bigs for Wheeler, who is 3-1 with a 3.58 ERA in six starts but has walked 18 batters in 32 2/3 innings and has pitched more than six innings just once. Wheeler will be making his second start against the Braves. He made his major league debut in Atlanta on June 18 and earned the win with six shutout innings in which he allowed four hits and five walks while striking out seven.
- OF/1B Lucas Duda (left intercostal strain) began a rehab assignment with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Mets on Wednesday, when he went 0-for-2 with a run and a walk. Duda was placed on the disabled list June 23 (retroactive to June 22). Duda started 65 of the first 70 games, mostly in left field, but with Eric Young Jr. establishing himself as the leadoff hitter and left fielder, Duda’s role upon his return is uncertain.
- LHP Jon Niese (torn left rotator cuff) has thrown in the bullpen and is expected to begin a rehab assignment with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Mets as soon as this weekend. Manager Terry Collins said Niese’s rehab stint would begin no later than Aug. 1. Niese left his start against the Braves on June 20 because of left shoulder pain and was placed on the disabled list the next day. He also missed a start earlier in the season due to shoulder soreness.
- C Travis d’Arnaud (broken left foot) played in a minor league game Wednesday for the first time in more than three months and went 1-for-3 while catching five innings for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Mets. D’Arnaud, whom the Mets acquired from the Blue Jays in the deal that sent reigning Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto last December, was hurt in April while playing for Triple-A Las Vegas. Before he got hurt, d’Arnaud was in line to earn a promotion around June, but it appears he will not make his Mets debut until September at the earliest.
The Mets and Braves finish up their four game set with the Mets looking to split the series this afternoon on Wheeler Day! After beating the Braves two days ago, the Mets dropped yesterday’s game 8-2. The real story of the game was the horrific injury that Tim Hudson endured while covering first base. The only shred of good that came out of the situation was the humanity showed between the Mets (specifically Eric Young and David Wright), the Braves and the Mets fans. Anyway, Zack Wheeler takes the mound today against Alex Wood.
Zack Wheeler is 3-1 over 6 games this season while pitching 32.2 innings of work and a 3.58 ERA. Over his last three starts he’s 2-0 while pitching 16.2 innings and a 2.16 ERA. His major league debut was against the Braves where he pitched 6.0 shutout innings allowing 4 hits, 5 walks and striking out 7 batters. The Braves have the following numbers against Wheeler:
Freeman 0-1, 2 BB
Uggla 1-3, 2B
Alex Wood is 0-2 this season over 16 games and 1 start with a 2.45 ERA pitching 22.0 innings. His only start came against a doubleheader with the Mets where he allowed 1 ER over 3 innings of work while walking 3 and striking out 5. That was his only appearance against the Mets this year. The Mets have the following numbers against him:
Lets Go Mets!