What to look for: Mets vs. Braves, 9:30 PM
The Mets open a four-game series with the Braves on Thursday night at Turner Field in Atlanta at 7:10 pm.
Here is tonight’s starting lineup for New York:
Curtis Granderson RF
Yoenis Cespedes CF
Lucas Duda 1B
Juan Uribe 3B
Michael Conforto LF
Wilmer Flores SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Kevin Plawecki C
Bartolo Colon RHP
Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:
Bartolo Colon (13-11, 4.18 ERA) will start for the Mets.
Shelby Miller (5-13, 2.81 ERA) will start for the Braves.
Here’s what I’m looking for tonight from the Mets:
It is NOT a house of horrors!
The Mets have been downright miserable at Turner Field for 20 years, which is partly why they have only won one season series from the Braves since 2006. They’re only 1-5 against the Braves at Turner Field so far this season (including a three-game sweep by Atlanta the last time New York was in town), but those six games featured two totally different teams.
There are several Mets getting a well deserved day off, but it’s about time the Mets play better in Atlanta and change their luck in what has been a miserable house of horrors for this club for two decades. The Braves have lost 20 of their last 23 games, so there’s no reason why the Mets can’t begin to change their luck against a broken Atlanta ball club beginning tonight.
It’s easy for the Mets to show up flat in Atlanta after three of the best wins the club has had in the last nine years. But Terry Collins has done an outstanding job all year long of managing the emotional state of the club, so the Mets should be in good shape mentally ahead of a series the Mets really need to win. They may start out a little flat, especially against Shelby Miller who maybe the best losing pitcher in baseball right now. But everyone in that clubhouse knows the task is not yet complete despite their significant lead in the division, and they know they need to keep their intensity high even if they can maintain their lead down the stretch.
A good start for Bart.
Colon has simply been outstanding lately, carrying a 25 inning scoreless streak into this contest in Atlanta on Thursday. He hasn’t allowed a run since he was roughed up by the Rockies on August 21, and his scoreless streak is the longest such streak in the majors at the moment.
He’s going to give up a run eventually, but it would be nice if Colon can not only continue his strong stretch, but to begin to set a better trend for the starting pitching in general, which has really struggled over the last month. Following up Jacob deGrom’s splendid outing with a quality outing of his own could go a long way towards recreating that rhythm they’re going to need if they make the playoffs.