Braves are up 5-2 on the season series after pounding Jorge Sosa (as predicted). Let’s get another!
James looks to rebound against Mets
By Jeff Lutz / MLB.com
The battle for first place in the National League East continues on Wednesday night as the Braves host the Mets in the second game of a three-game series at Turner Field. The Braves, losers of four of five games before Monday, took the series opener and sit 1 1/2 games behind division-leading New York.
Atlanta sends 25-year-old left-hander Chuck James to the mound. In his last outing, James did not earn a decision, allowing three earned runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings in Atlanta’s 4-3 loss to Washington. James has pitched at least five innings in eight of his nine starts, but has pitched more than six just once.
“Chucky has been throwing well,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “His changeup has really been effective the past couple of games.”
James has hit both extremes in his career starts against the Mets. Last September, James held the Mets to one hit in eight innings in the finest outing of his young career. In his only other two starts against the Mets, however, he has combined to allow 13 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.
New York starting pitcher Oliver Perez is looking to stay hot, coming off consecutive wins in his two longest starts of the season. He pitched into the eighth inning on Friday in beating the Yankees, five days after allowing two hits and a run in 8 1/3 innings against the Brewers. Perez has found success despite dipping strikeout totals. In his last three starts he has fanned 11, compared with 28 strikeouts in his three prior outings.
ATL: LHP Chuck James (4-3, 4.15 ERA)
Wednesday’s outing put James in a comfortable position — he sports a career 7-3 record at Turner Field and is 12-5 with a 3.30 ERA in night starts.
NYM: LHP Oliver Perez (5-3, 2.90 ERA)
Perez has won back-to-back starts for the first time this season. He has beaten Atlanta twice this season, and pitched his only complete game of 2006 against the Braves last September.
Player to watch
New York shortstop Jose Reyes doubled and homered off James as part of a three-hit day in the Mets’ 7-2 win over Atlanta at Shea Stadium on April 21.