The Braves travel north to Citi Field for their penultimate series with the Mets this weekend. All eyes will be on New York as Chipper Jones will play his final series in New York, a place where we all know he's thrived. During the series, Talking Chop will take a closer look at Chipper's dominance of the Mets over his storied career, starting with a retrospective of Chipper's biggest home runs against New York. Here's to hoping that Chipper can add one or two to that list by the end of the weekend.
Since the All-Star break, things just haven't gone the Mets way. New York went 1-11 in their first dozen games after the break and has stumbled to a 19-33 record since the midseason break, including 3 losing streaks of 5+ games. An impotent offense and lackluster pitching(outside of Cy Young frontrunner R.A. Dickey) led to the losing woes at the beginning of the second half. New York has played better of late though, winning 8 of their past 11 games.
The Mets offense is, as everyone knows, powered by All-Star third baseman David Wright, but Wright hasn't been the Mets best hitter of late. Over the past two weeks, it has been Ike Davis bouying the Mets, and the young first baseman will definitely demand extra attention from the Braves' staff. Davis, though only hitting .278 over the last 14 days, is slugging a ridiculous .667. Davis has hit 4 homers over that time span, and is locked in as the Mets' best power source right now. He's also seeing the ball very well, drawing walks in over 15% of his recent plate appearances. A .222 BABIP actually suggests he's been *unlucky*, which is a scary thought for Braves pitchers. Hopefully that bad luck continues.
While Davis has paced the Mets in WAR (with 0.5) over the past few weeks, new acquisition Kelly Shoppach is right behind him with 0.4. Shoppach, who was recently shipped to New York for the Red Sox, is hitting .278/.366/.556 since joining the Mets. A .350 BABIP suggests he's playing over his head, but if he's hot, the Braves would be wise to pitch him with care.
Speaking of pitchers, the Braves are lucky to miss R.A. Dickey during this trip to the Big Apple. The Braves will tangle with lefty nemesis Jon Niese, as well as righties Jeremy Hefner and Chris Young. A look at pitching statistics and matchups after the jump
Friday, September 7, 7:10 p.m. EST
|2012 - Paul Maholm||2-3||3.96||1.16||32||10|
|2012 - Jon Niese||10-8||3.55||1.17||138||41|
Saturday, September 8, 4:05 p.m. EST
|2012 - Kris Medlen||7-1||1.56||0.96||86||18|
|2012 - Jeremy Hefner||2-5||4.52||1.31||47||12|
Sunday, September 9, 1:10 p.m. EST
|2012 - Tommy Hanson||12-8||4.40||1.48||134||63|
|2012 - Chris Young||4-7||4.48||1.36||60||29|