The trade deadline is just two days away and the New York Mets (54-46) are a team in need of reinforcements. The bats have gone quiet over the past few days, particularly against left-handed starters, but the Mets did squeak out a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves (50-52) last night that was aided by a strong throw home from Michael Conforto in the ninth inning to gun down the potential tying run at the plate. The two teams have split the first four games of this series and will look to secure the rubber game this afternoon. First pitch for the matinee affair is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker (7-3, 3.43 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets as he looks to get back on track following some recent struggles. Walker got hammered by the Toronto Blue Jays last Saturday night, giving up six runs in four innings to suffer his third loss of the year. The Braves will counter with lefty Drew Smyly (7-3, 4.30 ERA), the fifth left-handed starter the Mets have faced in their last seven games. Smyly tossed four shutout innings against the Phillies last Saturday but didn’t get deep enough into the game to qualify for a victory in a game the Braves won 15-3.
New York Mets Lineup:
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 29, 2021
- Walker is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts against the Braves this season.
- Smyly is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two career appearances, including one start, against the Mets.
- Jeff McNeil will get the day off after the performance staff recommended a rest as he works his way through a leg issue. Brandon Drury will start at second base and bat eighth.
- Dominic Smith is back in the Mets’ lineup after sitting out last night. He will start in left field and bat third.
- Joc Pederson (8 for 20, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Freddie Freeman (2 for 8, HR, RBI) and Pablo Sandoval (2 for 6, 2B, RBI) have good numbers against Walker.
- James McCann is 5 for 9 with two home runs and four RBI’s against Smyly.
- Weather could be a factor today as the forecast calls for a significant chance of thunderstorms this afternoon.
- This is the final game of the season that the Braves will play at Citi Field. The Mets are 5-4 against Atlanta at home in 2021.