National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 9th (All times Eastern)
New York Mets (3-4) at Atlanta Braves (4-3), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Zach Wheeler (0-1, 4.50) Atlanta - Ervin Santana (0-0, 0.00)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Ervin Santana will make his Atlanta debut on Wednesday, as the Braves host the New York Mets at Turner Field for the second installment of a three-game set.
Santana was signed to a one-year deal after Atlanta lost Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen to season-ending injuries. The veteran right-hander finished 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA as a member of the Kansas City Royals last season after an eight-year stint with the Angels.
"If you don't feel butterflies, then you don't like the game anymore," Santana said. "I know there are a lot of things going on right now. I'm not going to think about it. I'm just going to go out there and do my job."
Santana's chances of coming out of his Braves' debut victorious are slim if the offense can not pick up some steam. The Mets downed Atlanta, 4-0, on Tuesday, marking the first time this season the Braves allowed more than two runs in a single game.
"We've got to put the whole lineup together and get the line moving," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But there are some signs there."
First baseman Freddie Freeman has been the Braves' most productive hitter by far, batting .391 with two home runs and a pair of doubles. However, Jason Heyward is in the midst of an 0-for-22 stretch. Justin Upton, who is batting just .231 on the season, went 2-for-4 on Tuesday.
"No, it's not Spring Training," Heyward said. "But just like the first week of Spring Training, some guys get off to a great start and some guys get off to a slow start. There's a little different bit of timing and adrenaline when you're coming into a season. I feel we're all showing signs of settling in and just going out there and playing."
The Mets' pitching staff has recorded five quality starts, which is the fourth most among MLB teams. Right-hander Zack Wheeler will take the hill for New York on Wednesday after a decent showing versus Washington last week. Wheeler struck out six Nationals in the first three innings, but took a losing decision after allowing three runs on seven hits over six innings.
"It all starts with me though, giving up the three runs," said Wheeler after the loss. "I should have done better."
Wheeler made his big league debut at Turner Field last June. Heyward is 0- for-6 versus Wheeler in his career.
New York's offense did enough to power past Atlanta on Tuesday. Ruben Tejada led the way with a pair of RBI singles and two runs scored. Eric Young went 2- for-4 with one driven in and a walk out of the leadoff spot, while David Wright finished 0-for-5 with a strikeout.
Atlanta went 10-9 versus the Mets in 2013.
04/09 10:28:30 ET