A Word From Our Sponsors


The Great Showdown

note: sorry for the lack of series recaps. i was pretty much without internet over the holiday weekend.

Well, we knew this would come. Or rather, that they would come. The ridiculously consistent division champs will return to Flushing for the first time since Tom Glavine banished them with his complete game. The Braves have usually meant big problems for the Mets, as the Mets haven't had a winning season against the Tomahawk Choppers since that great 1997 squad took 7 of 12. Don't forget that Carl Everett played a huge role on that team. But maybe, just maybe, it's our year.

Game 1: Monday, 7:10 (National TV: ESPN)
Pedro Martinez (2-0, 3.46 ERA) vs. Jorge Sosa (0-2, 11.37 ERA)
Game 2: Tuesday, 7:10
Victor Zambrano (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Kyle Davies (0-1, 8.38 ERA)
Game 3: Wednesday, 1:10
Tom Glavine (2-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson (0-1, 9.20 ERA)

ATL Breakdown: Record- 6-7
I don't really think much of this Braves team. Their pitching has not been sufficient, and their only starter to win a game was John Smoltz with his magnificent CG shutout of the weak Padres on Saturday night. They might have swept the series if it wasn't for a sophomore mistake by Ryan Langerhans. This rotation lacks the depth that made it dominant once, as they no longer have that consistency of last year and the year before. Mike Hampton is done for the year, and Kyle Davies and Jorge Sosa, both surprising wild card starters last year, have been shelled so far. Even Tim Hudson has been raped and pillaged by opposing hitters. I don't think a lot of this Braves pen, either. It's a motley crew of other organizations' castoffs, though some of them have been strong. The two relievers acquired in the deal that sent Johnny Estrada to the Diamondbacks, Lance Cormier and Oscar Villareal, have ERAs of 1.04 and 1.13, respectively. Villareal also has 4 wins. They've also brought in journeymen Peter Moylan, who was doing office labor in Australia no more than three months ago, and Ken Ray, a 31 year-old who pitched for five organizations but only made one major league appearance before this year. They also dropped Joey Devine, the first rounder of the 63.00 ERA, which is only a slight dropoff from last year's 12.60 ERA.

Players to Watch for:
ATL: Jeff Francoeur. The sophomore right fielder just broke out of his slump on Thursday, and continued his torrid hitting during the weekend series, raising his average by more than one hundred points. Expect him to have a little fun with the gopherball-prone Zambrano.

NYM: Carlos Delgado. This man is on the verge of mashing some already battled Braves pitching. No lefties pitching, no righties with gas. Heck, he hit 5 straight homers in 5 AB against Jorge Sosa during their AL days (thanks to MetsGeek for the info). I'd also like to see a nice show from Cliff Floyd.

Player of the Series: Carlos Delgado

Picks: The Mets will take two of three in this one, though Zambrano will have a bit of trouble with that Braves lineup.

Sex can wait! Prognosticate:
  • The Braves have no chance of holding Jose Reyes in check this series.

  • Willie Randolph really needs to stop using Jose Valentin. He looks really overmatched.

  • Jorge Julio will pitch in a close game during this series. He won't give up more than one run.

  • Billy Wagner will hammer down two saves this series. They will be painless.

  • The Mets will make a couple roster moves, snagging Kaz Matsui from Norfolk (in exchange for Jose Valentin), and Heath Bell will come up if Darren Oliver has another bad showing.

  • Anderson Hernandez will continue to start even when Matsui comes back.

  • And if any of you remember Get Metsmerized, isn't this a sign that this season secretly is 1986 again? Where's Tim Teufel?

  • Trash talk:

    ATL 1B Adam LaRoche: "I bet their fans can remember 14 straight division titles." [MSNBC]

    ATL C Todd Pratt: “I’ve been on the other side. The other side has been saying ‘This is the year’ for 14 years.” [MSNBC]

    NYM RP Aaron Heilman: "I think we all know plenty about the Braves." [NY Daily News]

    NYM 1B Julio Franco: "On the Braves they've never cared about records. They come to the park to beat you and they're not going to change anything about what they do just because the other team has more wins. After all that winning they believe in themselves." [NY Daily News]

    No comments: