What to look for: Braves vs. Mets, 7:10 PM

Citi Field 1 slice

The Mets will look to take the rubber game of their three-game series against the Braves at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night at Citi Field.

BaronHere is tonight’s starting lineup for New York:

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

Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Bartolo Colon (14-12, 4.15 ERA) will start for the Mets.

Williams Perez (6-6, 5.16 ERA) will start for the Braves.

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

Wake up and smell the coffee.

Both Terry Collins and David Wright have called for the Mets to start playing better and beginning now with a series win over a team they just have to beat. They need to get better overall pitching, they need to hit better, particularly with runners in scoring position, and perhaps most of all, they need to show that same life and energy which was on display with this club prior to last Monday when this homestand began.

Right now, all of that is lacking. When the manager and captain call for it in public, that should serve as a wakeup call for the team.

A good start from Bart.

Colon had been on such a roll before he hit a speed bump in his last start when his two-seamer caught a little too much plate against the Marlins in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. While he was on his hot streak, Colon was consistently down in the strike zone but was also working his change-up and slider more into his repertoire, helping to keep the opposition off-balanced.

He needs to come up with a strong effort tonight, so hopefully all of that is working for him. It has a tendency to do so against the National League East in 2015, as he’s 13-2 with a 2.65 ERA against his own division this season.

Gotta start hitting.

The offense has struggled over these last eight games, scoring 20 runs in that span, going 8-for-60 with runners in scoring position and hitting just .230 with 24 walks and 55 strikeouts in that span. They have loaded the bases on five different occasions, but scored only four runs in those instances.

That must change, obviously.

They’ve had their share of base runners, so it’s just a matter of better at-bats in run scoring opportunities, and better execution and selection as well. They’ve shown a lot of impatience and poor discipline with runners in scoring position as of late, which is a stark contrast to their performance in those situations just before this homestand started.

It’s a slump, and they’ll come out of it. The sooner the better, however.

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