What to look for: Mets vs. Braves, 7:35 PM

Turner Field 1 slice

The Mets continue their series against the Braves on Friday night at Turner Field in Atlanta at 7:35 pm.

BaronHere is tonight’s starting lineup for New York:

Curtis Granderson – RF
Yoenis Cespedes – CF
Daniel Murphy – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Lucas Duda – 1B
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Michael Conforto – LF
Ruben Tejada – SS
Steven Matz – LHP

Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Steven Matz (2-0, 1.89 ERA) will start for the Mets.

Matt Wisler (5-6, 5.81 ERA) will start for the Braves.

Mets vs BravesHere’s what I’m looking for from the Mets tonight:

Five’s alive.

The Mets are playing for a five-game winning streak and their highest win total since they finished 89-73 in 2008 against the Braves tonight. They showed on Thursday they weren’t about to come off their high from their series against the Nationals, so there’s no reason to expect the Mets to back off the throttle tonight.

These are the games the Mets are supposed to win, but that doesn’t mean they’ll win them by default. They still need to stay sharp and play well, and they did just that on Thursday night. That should continue into Friday as the Mets try to position themselves for a series victory on Saturday.

Meet the Matz.

Matz is making his fourth big league start tonight, and he is looking shake off a minor blister issue that led to a premature exit in his last start against the Marlins last Sunday.

It’s hard to suggest he’s pitching for a rotation spot in the playoffs, as it’s most likely already his to lose. That’s a lot of weight to put on the shoulders of a kid who has made just three big league starts.

However, Matz is unique for a kid with his inexperience in that he doesn’t appear to waver in the slightest bit of adversity. He has yet to face a truly pressurized situation, but he appears primed to make an impact in October despite the low mileage. Tonight is one of about three or four starts he will have before he pitches in the playoffs – its going to be fun watching the hometown kid’s story unfold on the national stage.

Pen pals.

The bullpen has had a stellar week. They’ve only allowed a run in 11 2/3 inningssince Tyler Clippard lost on Sunday afternoon (it was Clippard who allowed a solo home run to Bryce Harper on Wednesday).

That trend needs to continue after the relief corps spent the better part of a month getting beaten on a daily basis, partiularly in the seventh inning. Terry Collins should have most – if not all – of his relievers ready and available tonight after a night off on Thursday, although he would probably like to stay away from the likes of Clippard and Jeurys Familia if he can.

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