9/18/20 Game Preview: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets

It may not be pretty, but the New York Mets (23-27) are still alive in the playoff race. The Mets rallied for the second straight game last night, overcoming a 6-3 deficit to top the Philadelphia Phillies 10-6 to close to within 1.5 games of the final Wild Card spot in the National League. With only 10 games to go, the Mets realistically need to win at least seven games to give themselves a shot. That run could begin tonight as the Mets look to extend their three-game winning streak as they begin their final homestand of the season against the Atlanta Braves (29-21). First pitch for the opener of this three-game series is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

Sep 17, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) reacts as he stands on third base hitting a two-run triple during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets will send left-hander Steven Matz (0-4, 8.63 ERA) to the mound tonight for his first start since August 15. Matz last pitched against the New York Yankees on August 29, tossing a scoreless inning of relief before leaving with an injury. The Braves will counter with lefty Max Fried (6-0, 1.98 ERA) to complete the matchup of southpaws. Fried last pitched on September 5, allowing three runs in five innings against the Washington Nationals, but he did not factor in the decision. Atlanta ended up losing the game 10-4 and Fried landed on the injured list shortly afterward.

Local Coverage:

Television: SNY

Radio: WCBS

New York Mets Lineup:

Pre-Game Notes:

  • The Mets are 2-5 against the Braves so far this season and dropped three out of four when the teams last met in Atlanta at the beginning of August.
  • This is the Braves’ second trip of the season to Citi Field after they won two out of three on Opening Weekend.
  • Matz’s best start of the season came against the Braves on July 25, when he allowed one run in six innings, but was stuck with a no-decision after Edwin Diaz blew a save in the ninth inning.
  • Fried faced the Mets in that game, allowing two runs in five innings before getting bailed out of a loss when the Braves rallied to win in extra innings.
  • With a lefty on the mound, Andres Gimenez will get the day off. Amed Rosario will start at shortstop and bat eighth.
  • Pete Alonso and Brandon Nimmo will also sit tonight. Todd Frazier will bat cleanup while Jake Marisnick starts in center field and hits seventh.
  • Adam Duvall (4 for 9, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) and Freddie Freeman (8 for 31, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI) have good numbers against the Mets.
  • Jeff McNeil is 5 for 13 with two doubles and two RBI’s in his career against Fried.