The Mets salvaged the Subway Series Sunday night, but their season is still on a downward trajectory. Adrian Gonzalez has finally been purged from the roster, so perhaps Dominic Smith will provide a spark. The team travels down to Atlanta to face a Braves team treading water tied atop the NL East. The Braves lost four of six out to the Padres and Dodgers last week, so maybe the Mets will be able to take advantage of the Braves’ struggles and start to turn the season around. Or maybe not.
Front of the Rotation Folty? Mike Foltynewicz has held opponents to two earned runs or less in 12 of his 13 starts. Since he allowed six runs to the Giants on May 4, he has a 0.97 ERA with an 11.25 K/9. To put those numbers in perspective, that ERA is better than deGrom’s this season (1.57), and the K/9 is a little worse (11.88). In other words, Folty has been really good of late, and he lines up in game one of the two game set against Wheeler.
Freeman’s Fumbles: Freeman has struggled over his last eight appearances, with a 5.40 ERA and a 5.40 BB/9. He has given up two home runs over his last four appearances after not giving up any over his first 28. If you are confused as to when the Braves’ slugging first baseman started pitching, this is Sam, not Freddie, a lefty reliever who has spent time with Atlanta the last few seasons. Some concern has been expressed about his heavy usage early in the season, as he appeared in 14 of the Braves’ first 21 games, but his velocity is about the same it was at this point last year, and his walk numbers have not deteriorated as the year has gone along. It seems likely that he is just going through a rough patch in his season. Perhaps the Mets have caught him at just the right time.
The Good: Despite a recent skid, Ozzie Albies still leads second basemen in homeruns, extra base hits and runs.
The Bad: The Braves’ top three starting pitchers (by innings) all have a BB% of 10.8% or higher.
The Ugly: Albies’ struggles have been severe, as he has just a .167 OBP in June.
The Mets faced Mike Soroka in his MLB debut back on May 1, and were only able to muster one run off him on a Yoenis Cespedes home run. In fact, Cespedes accounted for three of the six hits allowed. Now with Cespedes on the DL, Soroka is scheduled to come off a DL stint of his own to face the Mets on Wednesday. So look to see if they have more luck against the rookie without the only player to have much success against him his first time out.
Photo credit: Jake Roth – USA Today Sports