Time for another series against the Mets! The most exciting time we have covering baseball around here. Mets have lost 5 in a row. Braves have pitter-puttered. Phillies have won 5 in a row.
The current NL East standings shake out like this.
Mets 73-60 .549 -
Phils 71-62 .534 2.0
Braves 69-65 .515 4.5
So the Braves still have their work cut out for them. Anything is possible. Sweeping the Mets will probably land the Phillies in first by the end of the weekend. There is still about 5 weeks left in the season. It is basically September so it’s showtime now. If the Braves 3-4-5 starters can get quality starts 60% of the time and Hudson and Smoltz keep holding it down, we should be able to wrap up the season nicely. A lot depends of course.
I’m sure Mr.Met has a different opinion on this matter, but he doesn’t have much to say when it comes to the Mets’ 4-8 record vs the Braves this season or the fact that they have lost 5 in a row. But I know exactly what he will say and it will most likely have the name PEDRO attached to it… HA! Exactly, Pedro. ‘Nuff said.
Now for a preview of tonights matchup of Hudson vs Maine from Braves.com…
Hudson on hill to open crucial Mets set
By Tom Keller / MLB.com
It might not be now or never for Atlanta, but it’s getting close.
With a frustrating 10-game road trip in their rear-view mirror, the Braves return to Turner Field on Friday to begin a critical three-game set with the National League East-leading Mets. Atlanta finds itself in third place behind New York entering the weekend, meaning that the Braves likely will need to take at least two of three to stay within striking distance in the division.
“We’ve got to win some games, it’s as simple as that,” manager Bobby Cox said. “There’s no magic formula. If we win, we know we’re doing something right.”
The Braves will pin their hopes for the opener on Tim Hudson, who has already beaten the Mets twice this season. The right-hander has allowed three runs and 14 hits in 14 innings against New York, and he’s 9-1 in his last 10 decisions overall. He has lasted at least six innings in all but five of his 28 starts this season.
The Braves will hope for a repeat performance against Mets starter John Maine, who allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to Atlanta earlier this month. Maine is 1-3 with a 7.77 ERA in five August starts.
These two teams have played four series so far this season, with Atlanta taking two of three each time. A similar result would go a long way in propelling the Braves’ playoff bid.
“We’ve got one month left,” John Smoltz said. “We’ve just got to find a way.”
NYM: RHP John Maine (13-8, 3.68 ERA)
The Dodgers tagged Maine for six runs on Sunday, though few of their nine hits were particularly hard ones. An error, a bunt single and several bloops created the bulk of the offense, and three of Maine’s six runs were unearned. All that led to a high pitch count. Maine lost in his previous start against the Braves this year, also allowing six runs.
ATL: RHP Tim Hudson (15-6, 3.23 ERA)
Hudson had a string of nine straight wins snapped when he lost to the Cardinals his last time out. He allowed five runs — his highest mark in nine starts — on nine hits in five innings. Hudson is 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA against the Mets in 10 career meetings with them.
Player to watch
Mets left fielder Moises Alou has four hits in six at-bats against Hudson this season. He has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games.