The Atlanta Braves' last trip to Queens was interrupted by Hurricane Irene. They may find themselves dealing with the elements again instead of the New York Mets. Atlanta (82-60) was scheduled to play a three-game series at New York (70-71) from Aug. 26-28, but Irene postponed the last two after a 6-0 loss in the opener. The Braves are hitting .261 in their last six games, but have a .182 average with runners in scoring position while totaling 16 runs and going 1-5 in that stretch. Facing Dillon Gee (12-5, 4.48 ERA) might be a good way to improve those numbers.
Gee is the Mets' wins leader, but he's posted a 7.18 ERA in six starts since the beginning of August - including a rough outing against the Braves. The rookie right-hander allowed five runs and three homers in five innings of a 6-5 loss to Atlanta on Aug. 7, although he didn't get the decision. Julio Teheran (0-1, 5.19) will make his third big league start in the nightcap. The 20-year-old Teheran is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, but he failed to complete five innings in each of his first two outings with Atlanta in May. The right-hander, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday, went 15-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 25 games in the minors this year.
We get a bargain of a price here, and while Atlanta has bascially all but wrapped up the NL wildcard this season their offense could use some resurgence once they know they've officially clinched. Hitting just .246 overall, they are third in the NL with 156 HR and most of that can be attributed to a surging second half by Dan Uggla. Uggla (.236 33 72) had a 33 game hitting streak in the second half of the season and saw his average increase some 70 points over that stretch while leading the club in production. Brian McCann (.280 23 64) continues to hit well in the clutch, and Freddie Freeman (.292 18 65) has been about the most consistent Brave all season in his quest for NL ROY. Chipper Jones (.282 15 61) is showing he can still do it at age 39, and the middle of the lineup could provide headaches for a slumping Gee. Meanwhile while Teheran makes just his 3rd start of the season, he'll be facing a spoiler of a Mets lineup that has hit far better than expectations (.266) collectively only to suffer from a rash of injuries. Missing a good chunk of the season, David Wright (.269 12 49) has played well since his return but the main goal about now is to finish above .500 overall. Jose Reyes (.338) still leads the league in hitting but unless can find a restructred extended contract is all but done after the '11 campaign. Daniel Murphy, Angel Pagan and Lucas Duda remain promising, but losing Ike Davis and the subpar numbers from Jason Bay means a lot of changes will be on the horizon. However we get good value here and hope the nightcap provides just as much early scoring as in game 1. Best of luck however you play!