National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, July 15th
(All times eastern)
New York Mets (46-42) at Atlanta Braves (48-39), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Johan Santana (6-5, 3.24)
Atlanta - Ben Sheets (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Ben Sheets makes his first major league start in nearly two
years when the Braves aim to complete a three-game sweep of the New York Mets.
Sheets, who was signed to a minor league contract on July 1, has not pitched
professionally since 2010, when he went 4-9 with a 4.53 earned run average in
20 starts for the Oakland Athletics. His last start was July 19 that season.
The right-hander, who will turn 34 on Wednesday, made a pair of starts for
Double-A Mississippi and went 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA. A four-time All-Star,
Sheets is 90-92 with a 3.79 ERA over nine years with Milwaukee and Oakland.
He's 4-2 in eight starts vs. the Mets.
Johan Santana has struggled throughout his career against the Braves with a
3-7 record, but has received little run support as evidenced by a 2.53 ERA in
14 career games vs. Atlanta. The lefty is coming off his worst start of the
season on July 6 when he gave up a career-high tying 13 hits along with a
season-high seven runs over 4 2/3 innings.
Yesterday, Jason Heyward drove in the go-ahead run as part of a three-run
eighth inning, lifting the Braves to an 8-7 win.
"What a game to win. You go ahead, they come back," Braves manager Fredi
Gonzalez said. "They've got a bunch of guys offensively that just don't give
at-bats away. They just keep battling."
Michael Bourn and Martin Prado had consecutive RBI singles off Bobby Parnell
(2-2) prior to Heyward's at-bat, a single to right. Freddie Freeman hit a two-
run double among his three hits and Bourn added a pair of RBI for the Braves,
who extended their winning streak to six games. Eric Hinske also knocked in a
pair of runs in the victory.
"I didn't feel my best coming off that break, but it's just little
adjustments," Parnell said. "Unfortunately things didn't go the way we wanted
them...But it's just little things, nothing big."
Anthony Varvaro (1-0) notched his first major league win with a scoreless
inning in relief and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth to record
his 27th save of the season.
Ruben Tejada drove in a pair of runs and Andres Torres added three hits for
the Mets, who have dropped three straight.
These teams have split eight meetings this season with Atlanta winning the
07/15 10:36:12 ET