Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Alex Wood (2-2, 2.61) vs Jon Niese (5-6, 4.25)
- Juan Lagares – CF
- Daniel Murphy – 2B
- Marlon Byrd – RF
- Andrew Brown – LF
- Josh Satin – 1B
- Justin Turner – SS
- Wilmer Flores – 3B
- John Buck – C
- Jon Niese – LHP
- Jeremy Hefner (partially torn MCL in his right elbow) appears headed for Tommy John surgery. Manager Terry Collins said Mets medical director David Altchek recommended the reconstructive surgery for Hefner, who was placed on the disabled list Aug. 10. Collins said Hefner was leaning toward seeking a second opinion before deciding whether to undergo the knife. Should Hefner choose to have the surgery, he’ll likely be out until at least late next season. Hefner went 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) this season but went 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA in five second-half starts before he got hurt.
- Jenrry Mejia is expected to undergo surgery within the next seven to 10 days in order to remove the bone chips and other loose debris from his right elbow. Mejia has been pitching with the bone chips for much of this season but left his start against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night when he felt pain while throwing a pitch in the fourth inning. Mejia was impressive in his five starts for the Mets—1-2 with a 2.30 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 27-4 in 27 1/3 innings—and is expected to compete for a spot in the rotation next spring.
- Marlon Byrd continued his resurgence Tuesday night, when he hit a two-run homer to cap the Mets’ three-run sixth inning in their 5-3 win over the Braves. The homer was the career-high 21st for Byrd, who had just one homer in 143 at-bats last season for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. Byrd has been especially hot over the last week, hitting .387 with four homers and 10 RBI. With 70 RBI overall, he is just 19 shy of tying his career-high, set in 2009, when he hit 20 homers for the Texas Rangers.
- Zack Wheeler earned the win Tuesday night, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out five over 6 2/3 innings in the Mets’ 5-3 victory over the Braves. All three runs scored after Wheeler left the game. He was one out away from completing seven scoreless innings when he allowed the Braves to load the bases via a single and two walks. Wheeler is 6-2 with a 3.49 ERA in 12 starts and 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts against the Braves.
- Travis d’Arnaud recorded the first hit of his career Tuesday night, when he doubled in the eighth inning of the Mets’ 5-3 win over the Braves. D’Arnaud, who was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas when John Buck went on paternity leave last Friday, was hitless in his first 10 at-bats, though he drew five walks in that span. D’Arnaud, acquired from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey deal last winter, is expected to finish out the season as the Mets’ No. 1 catcher.
- John Buck was activated from the paternity list and will back up top prospect Travis d’Arnaud the rest of the season. “It’s not my first year around, so I figured that obviously playing time would be lessened,” Buck said. “But it’s kind of the nature of the beast. You’ve got your top prospect up; you’re not going to let him just sit there, so I understand that.”
- Jon Niese will look to win his third straight start when he takes the mound Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Niese is coming off one of his best outings of the year, giving up one run and striking out a season-high nine in the Mets’ 5-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday. It marked just the second time this season Niese has thrown at least six innings and allowed only one run. Niese was on the disabled list from June 21 through Aug. 10 with a partially torn left rotator cuff and is 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 innings since his return. Niese is 6-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 14 starts against the Atlanta Braves.
- Bobby Parnell (herniated disk in his neck) is still not ready to resume baseball activities. Manager Terry Collins said Parnell’s symptoms are lessening but he remains sidelined. Parnell went on the disabled list Aug. 6 (retroactive to July 31) and hasn’t pitched since he earned the save with a scoreless inning in the Mets’ 4-2, 10-inning win over the Marlins on July 30. Parnell is 5-5 with 22 saves and a 2.16 ERA in 50 games this season.
The Mets and Braves finish off their two game set this afternoon as the Mets try to sweep Atlanta. Last night Wheeler had his pitches working early, but the Braves were able to keep it close. Thanks to some timely hitting and defense, the Mets were able to get it done. Today they look to contend with Alex Wood as the Mets send out Jon Niese.
Jon Niese is 5-6 over 16 starts this year with a 4.25 ERA over 89.0 innings of work. On August 11th he returned to the majors to 6 innings, 4 earned runs and in his last start he allowed only one earned run over 6. The Braves were not kind to him this season scoring 7 ER over 4.1 innings and then 3 ER over 3.1 innings. The Braves have the following numbers against Niese:
Freeman 8-24, 2 2B, 2 HR
Heyward 9-22, 2 2B, 2 HR
J Upton 8-15, 2B
The Mets draw Alex Wood for the finale who is 2-2 with a 2.61 ERA over 21 games, 6 starts and 51.2 innings in his rookie season. In the month of August he’s been on a tear allowing only 2 ER over 18.1 innings. Against the Mets he’s allowed 5 ER over 7.1 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Alex Wood:
Lets Go Mets!