Friday, August 5, 2011

Pre-Game 112: Atlanta Braves @ New York Mets

A professional baseball season in America can be metaphorically compared to a ticking time bomb for 29 teams. While some may hold on much longer, even to the gritty end of a game 7 World Series loss--only one bomb will remain intact and win the championship.

Tonight, the New York Mets(55-55) will welcome the Atlanta Braves(64-48) to Citi Field at 7:10 PM ET in what will prove to decide the fate of the Mets season. Sitting 8 games out of the Braves in the Wild Card and with less than 2 months of baseball remaining, the largely mediocre Mets will have perhaps their final chance to gain significant ground or drop off a cliff.

R.A Dickey(5-9, 3.77 ERA) will take the mound tonight in a place he hasn't felt comfortable in for most of year. Posting a 4.24 ERA at Citi Field compared to his 3.26 road ERA, Dickey will need a big performance against a team that has already roughed him up earlier this year. On June 16th, Dickey labored through 4 innings of work while allowing 4 runs. Michael Bourne has had success against Dickey in his career, batting .333 in 16 at bats.

Tim Hudson(10-7, 3.31 ERA) will look to continue his recent string of impressive starts, pitching to a 2.34 ERA in his last 10. Hudson is 13-8 with a 3.66 ERA in his career against the Mets. Jose Reyes has a lot of experience against Hudson in the past, logging 67 plate appearances and hitting to an impressive .297 average against him. Jason Bay has also posted a .353 average in 23 at bats against the 175 game winner.

New York Mets Starting Lineup:
Jose Reyes SS
2. Justin Turner 2B
3. Daniel Murphy 1B
4. David Wright 3B
5. Angel Pagan CF
6. Jason Bay LF
7. Lucas Duda RF
8. Josh Thole C
9. R.A Dickey P

Atlanta Braves Starting Lineup:
1. Michael Bourn CF
2. Martin Prado 3B
3. Freddie Freeman 1B
4. Dan Uggla 2B
5. Jason Heyward RF
6. David Ross C
7. Alex Gonzalez SS
8. Tim Hudson P
9. Jose Constanza LF