Friday, August 10, 2012

Series Preview: Braves @ Mets

We're still in that lovely stretch where we are playing terrible baseball teams. We have about 7 of those games left before we get a very rude awakening with the Dodgers, Nats, and Giants back to back to back. However, that is then, and this is now, so we have to take advantage of our opportunities before the juggernaught. Enter the Mets. Meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and beat the Mets! Bring your kiddies, bring the wife, we'll beat the Mets within an inch of their life! On to the matchups.

Game 1: Maholm v. Harvey
Game 2: Medlen v. Santana
Game 3: Sheets v. Niese

I was unaware that Steve Harvey had quit his acting gig and decided to pitch for the Mets. Oh no wait, this is some guy named Matt Harvey, a noob out of UNC who's only had 3 games in the majors. I guess the Mets are just trying out new things to see if anything sticks. Harvey has given up 8 runs in his last 11 innings, including 5 runs to the Padres. Yeah, the Padres. That team is 15 games under .500 and getting outscored on the season by 50, but they clubbed Harvey. I want to own Harvey's house when we are done with him. With Maholm out there, we should take the Mets to the woodshed in game one. There are two keys to Maholm's success. One, avoid giving up homers early in the game (probably not an issue in the cavern that is Citi Field). Two, don't screw around with David Wright and Daniel Murphy. They are 12/29 lifetime combined against Paul. Don't feed them in the middle of the plate, and we'll be fine.

Santana has been on a wretched skid over his last 3 games. In 12.2 innings he's given up 28 hits and 19 runs. He's been straight lit up. One of those games was against us when we beat him roundly 6-1, and it could have been worse. He gave up 7 to the Cubs. THE CUBS. They are barely functional as a AAA club. In essence, we are hitting him at the right time, and Medlen is 2-0 in his last two starts with an ERA of 2.37 on the year. This is another matchup that favors us. Keys to Medlen's victory? Keep the changeup working, and try to keep speed off the basepaths for the Mets. They will try to manufacture runs to get early leads, and we won't let them.

Ben Sheets is awesome. Niese has lost 5 of his last 6. Do I need to say more? Ok, I will. In Niese's last game against the crappy Marlins, he gave up 8 hits and 4 runs in a 2-4 loss. He's been giving up fly balls over the last month at a horrifying rate. His strikeouts are down, and his ERA is up. After going 7-3 heading into July, he's now 8-6. As they say down at Tyson Chicken, he's ripe for the plucking. Oh, and our lineup hits .297 against him. Sheets on the other hand, has an ERA of 1.41 and 4 wins in his last 5 outings. Last time he faced the Mets he went 6 innings and gave up only 2 hits in a 6-1 win. He will crush the Mets if continues to dominate like we've seen.

The Mets went 2-4 in their last two series against the Marlins and Padres (aka cellar-dwellers). We should sweep these fools. Honestly. Anything less than a sweep is going to upset me, because we'll have let a golden oppportunity where we don't even face Dickey slip through our fingers. We must break them. We must drive them before us and hear the lamentations of their women!

Go Braves!

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