Last year the Mets’ SP had a terrible time against the Braves but this year has been a different story. One of the biggest reasons for that has been the success of rookie Zack Wheeler, who has squared off against Atlanta three times and has a 3-0 record. While Wheeler has been the beneficiary of some strong offense this year, he’s also pitched very well against the Braves, as he sports a 2.89 ERA and a 1.286 WHIP against the team running away with things this year in the NL East.
The Mets still have one series left with the Braves this year, so Wheeler may get one more shot against the team that has owned the Mets in recent years. If he does pitch against Atlanta and gets a win, he’ll become the first pitcher to go 4-0 against the Braves since Danny Jackson and Orel Hershiser both accomplished the feat back in 1988, with Hershiser winning five games. Of course the Braves went 54-106 back in 1988, so it was a little bit different than to do it in 2013 when they are playing at a .611 winning clip.
The last Mets pitcher to go undefeated with at least three decisions in a year against Atlanta is Al Leiter, who did it in 2003. For his career with the Mets, Leiter was 9-8 against the Braves. The 2003 season was the only year during his time in Queens that he was above .500 against their division rival. Before Leiter, the last Mets pitcher to go undefeated against Atlanta with at least three decisions was David Cone back in 1988.
FLORES TAKES ADVANTAGE – If there’s a silver lining to David Wright’s injury it’s that it allowed the Mets to take an extended look at top prospect Wilmer Flores. For his part, Flores has looked comfortable playing third base and he’s displayed a knack for delivering timely hits. In 50 PA with the Mets, Flores has 11 RBIs. He has a 19.61 OBI%, the 12th-best mark in the majors among hitters who’ve come to the plate with at least 50 runners on base. It’s the top mark on the Mets, comfortably ahead of Marlon Byrd’s 17.44% rate.
BYRD SOARS IN LAST 10 GAMES – After scuffling while chasing his 100th career homer, Byrd has done extremely well here recently. In his last 45 PA, covering 10 games, Byrd has a .364 AVG and a 1.105 OPS with 4 HR and 10 RBIs. Eight of his 16 hits have gone for extra-bases in this span. Byrd leads the Mets with 70 RBIs and has a good chance to beat his career-high of 89, which he accomplished back in 2009 with the Rangers. Byrd has an outside shot of finishing with 100 RBIs and he would be the first Met since Wright turned the trick in 2010.
GERMEN MAKES CASE FOR 2014 SPOT – Few expected much from Gonzalez Germen when he was promoted in mid-July. But the 25 year old has proven to be a nice addition to the pen. In 20 IP, he has a 2.70 ERA and a 1.300 WHIP. With a 10 mph difference between his fastball and his changeup, Germen has given opposing hitters fits. His 12.7 swinging strike percentage is tied with Matt Harvey for the second-best rate on the team. The only issue with Germen has been his control. He’s issued 11 BB for a 4.95 BB/9. If Germen can sharpen his control, he could develop into an excellent set-up man.
SATIN ENJOYS HOME COOKING – Even after moving in the fences at Citi Field, most Mets hitters fare better on the road than they do at home. The team as a whole posts an OPS 44 points higher in away games than at their home field. But Josh Satin has raked when given the chance in front of the home folks. Satin has a .333/.433/.544 line in 67 PA at Citi Field. His .977 OPSat home is the highest mark for a Mets hitter, 72 points ahead of runner-up Wright.
FORGOTTEN MET STILL ONE OF THE MOST PRODUCTIVE – Early this year, Lucas Duda combined walks and power to post a 123 OPS+ and fans didn’t think his offense was anything special. Now Ike Davis combines walks and a BABIP 100 points above his career average and everyone thinks he’s tremendous. Davis sits with a .657 OPS (87 OPS+) and is considered a core player. Duda’s .791 OPS is the fourth-best mark on the club among those with at least 100 PA this season. Davis ranks ninth.
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