6/21/21 Game Preview: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets, Doubleheader Edition

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals

The schedule has gotten taxing for the New York Mets (36-29), who are in the midst of a brutal stretch of 33 games in 31 days as they begin to make up some of the many games that have been postponed off of their schedule. The Mets are fresh off a series loss against the Washington Nationals and have another doubleheader on tap for today as they begin a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves (33-36). First pitch for Game 1 of the twin bill is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. at Citi Field while the nightcap won’t start any earlier than 8:10 p.m.

Right-hander Jacob deGrom (6-2, 0.54 ERA) is set to take the mound for the Mets in Game 1. deGrom lasted just three innings in his last start, striking out eight Chicago Cubs last Wednesday, but had to leave his outing early due to right shoulder soreness in a game the Mets went on to win 6-3. The injury proved to be minor and deGrom was cleared to start today after going through his regular routine without any issues. The Braves will counter with righty Ian Anderson (4-3, 3.58 ERA). Anderson was hit hard by the Boston Red Sox last Wednesday, giving up four runs in four innings, but was not a factor in the decision. Atlanta went on to lose that game 10-8.

Game 2 will see the Braves turn to lefty Kyle Muller (0-0, 18.00 ERA) as their starter. Muller made his big league debut in relief of Anderson last Wednesday, allowing two runs in one inning of work. The Mets have yet to declare a Game 2 starter but recently recalled Jerad Eickhoff (3-4, 5.71 ERA in 2019) could be an option if he isn’t needed in the opener.

Local Coverage:

Television: SNY

Radio: WCBS

New York Mets Lineup (Game 1):

Pre-Game Notes:

  • The Mets have gone 3-1 against the Braves so far this season and won the only game played in a rain-impacted series at Citi Field when these teams last met on Memorial Day weekend.
  • Each contest of the doubleheader is scheduled for seven innings as part of the 2021 health and safety rules.
  • This is the Mets’ sixth doubleheader of the season. They are 7-3 in seven-inning games this season and have secured at least a split in each of their previous five doubleheaders.
  • This is the fourth doubleheader of the season for the Braves, who are 3-3 in seven-inning games.
  • The Braves also played in a doubleheader yesterday after their game with the St. Louis Cardinals was rained out on Saturday, splitting a pair. This means they will be playing four games in the span of 48 hours.
  • Today’s first game is a makeup date for a previously scheduled game on Friday, May 28 that was postponed due to rain.
  • deGrom is 8-7 with a 1.94 ERA in 23 career starts against the Braves.
  • Anderson faced the Mets at Citi Field on May 29, giving up four runs in four innings to suffer his second loss of the season.
  • Muller has never faced the Mets before.
  • Eickhoff is 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 13 appearances, including 12 starts, against the Braves.
  • After sitting out yesterday’s game with the Nationals, Jonathan Villar and Dominic Smith are back in the Mets’ lineup. Villar will start at third base and bat leadoff while Smith will bat third and start in left field.
  • Right-hander Robert Gsellman (lat) is headed to the 10-day injured list and Jeff McNeil (hamstring) is slated to be activated today. No roster moves have been announced at this point.
  • The Mets have not announced who their 27th man for the doubleheader is although The Athletic’s Tim Britton reports that Stephen Tarpley is at Citi Field today.
  • Freddie Freeman (15 for 58, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI’s) and Ronald Acuna Jr (8 for 25, 2B, 2 RBI’s) have good numbers against deGrom.
  • James McCann went 3 for 3 with a double, a home run and an RBI against Anderson on May 29 while Villar also homered against him.
  • Freeman (10 for 25, 3 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI’s) and Ozzie Albies (4 for 8, 3 2B) have strong numbers against Eickhoff.
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