Series Preview: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets

USA TODAY Sports

The Mets had been one of the hottest teams entering the All-Star Break, winning six of nine prior to it and have just taken two of three from the Phillies. That 6-3 stretch all came on the road, however, where they have played much better than at home, which may be good news for the Braves. Atlanta is coming off a rough series in Chicago, losing two of three to the woeful White Sox, but won two of three against the Mets at Citi Field earlier this season. In fact, before their series with the Phillies, the Mets had not won a series at home since April (not including the home-and-home four-game series sweep of the Yankees).

Dating back to the doubleheader June 18, the Mets are 18-11 with a 3.48 ERA, but are just 5-5 at home in that span. New York's pitching staff was further beset with injuries when Shaun Marcum was lost for the remainder of the season with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The Mets already have Jon Niese recovering from rotator cuff surgery, so Carlos Torres was moved from the bullpen and will stay in the rotation until Niese returns sometime in August. Torres made his first start July 13. Atlanta will also potentially see reliever Gonzalez Germen for the first time. Germen had 51 strikeouts in 44 innings with Las Vegas at the time of his call-up; he has allowed one run in four relief appearances covering 3.2 innings with six strikeouts.

Dillon Gee could be especially tough. Since his loss to Atlanta May 25, Gee's ERA is 2.67 in nine starts with a .297 BABIP. The Braves will try to avenge their loss to Zack Wheeler in his major-league debut, but he has been stingy in July, allowing just four earned runs in 16.2 innings. He's been doing that, though, with a 1.5 WHIP in those three July starts. His 18 total walks in six starts equates to 5.0 BB/9, so he'll be expected to be a bit wild.

Anyone remember Ike Davis, the guy who sucked so much the first half of the season that he was shipped to the minors? He's back, and while he still sucks, he's doing it less, hitting .226, which is 61 points higher than his previous best this year. He had a three-hit game his first game back and drew three walks the next game, but has just four hits and three walks in 27 plate appearances since then. He still has just one home run since April 25.

David Wright leading the team in hitting is no surprise. What may be surprising is that he's not the biggest run-producer on the team; that distinction goes to Marlon Byrd, who leads the Mets with 56 RBI and 17 home runs. Wright and John Buck each have driven in 48 runs.

Paul Maholm is Atlanta's scheduled starter on Thursday, but after suffering a wrist sprain in his last start, either Brandon Beachy or Alex Wood may start if necessary.

Monday, July 22, 7:10 p.m. ET

Julio Teheran

#49 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-2

175

R

R

Jan 27, 1991

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Julio Teheran 7-5 3.35 1.23 94 23

Dillon Gee

#35 / Pitcher / New York Mets

6-1

205

R

R

Apr 28, 1986

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Dillon Gee 7-7 4.32 1.44 89 32


Tuesday, July 23, 7:10 p.m. ET

Kris Medlen

#54 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

5-10

190

B

R

Oct 07, 1985

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Kris Medlen 6-9 3.64 1.37 86 32

Carlos Torres

#52 / Pitcher / New York Mets

6-1

185

R

R

Oct 22, 1982

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Carlos Torres 0-1 0.79 0.88 20 2

Wednesday, July 24, 7:10 p.m. ET

Tim Hudson

#15 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-1

175

R

R

Jul 14, 1975

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Tim Hudson 7-7 4.08 1.20 86 33

Jeremy Hefner

#53 / Pitcher / New York Mets

6-4

215

R

R

Mar 11, 1986

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Jeremy Hefner 4-7 3.93 1.22 85 28

Thursday, July 25, 12:10 p.m. ET

Paul Maholm

#28 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-2

220

L

L

Jun 25, 1982

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Paul Maholm 9-9 4.41 1.39 82 36

Zack Wheeler

#65 / Pitcher / New York Mets

6-4

185

L

R

May 30, 1990

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Zack Wheeler 3-1 3.58 1.50 26 18
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