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Mets Game 150 Quick Preview September 21, 2015

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball, Sports.
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Jonathon Niese has started three games against Atlanta this year, and in two of the three, he’s allowed unearned runs. His ERA in three games against Atlanta this year is 2.03, but his runs per 9 is 3.57. With last night’s defensive struggles in mind, and Niese’s difficulties, Terry Collins needs to be especially mindful of having a strong defense behind Jonathon tonight.

Gary Carter and Quackerjack

Gary Carter and Quackerjack

Meanwhile, Shelby Miller is on a skid – the Braves have lost both of his starts against the Mets this year, and Miller has put up a 4.38 ERA in his two starts against New York. Miller has an 8.36 ERA in three September starts, all losses, with a horrific .408 batting average on balls in play. Besides the defense, though, he’s putting up a .414 OBP-against and a 1.71 K/BB control ratio (2.00 if you remove a single intentional walk). Those numbers are a bit inflated because Miller faced a blistering Mets squad on September 10 and the Blue Jays on the 16th; though he may have a bad time, this is not a pitcher who the Mets should look past, particularly with Yoenis Cespedes still recovering from the slump he broke out of last year.

With the magic number stuck at Gary Carter‘s 8, this is a crucial series for the Mets. The Braves have been vile this year, and even if the Nationals go 2-1 against the Orioles, the Mets can push the magic number down to 5 by the end of this series with just 2 wins against the Braves. That means splitting a series with the Reds puts it at 3, even if the Nationals sweep the Phillies, giving the Mets a chance to either put it away by sweeping the Phillies themselves (clinching by October 1) or, if they win 2, coming into the season-ending series against Washington needing only to avoid a sweep. Again, that’s assuming the Nationals don’t help us out at all, taking 2 against the Orioles, sweeping the Phillies, winning their single game against the Reds, and sweeping the Braves.