BRAVE CHALLENGE

23 Apr

So the Mets did it. They finally won a series in 2010.

Of course they do it in the most difficult of ways, winning three out of four. They also make you lose all of your nails before the final out is recorded. But a win is a win, especially important when you have your ace on the mound and an upward climb to .500.

The home stand gets real interesting this weekend as the Atlanta Braves come to town for three. The Braves (8-7) look to rebound from a losing series to the Phillies at home. They bring their strong pitching and impressive offense to Queens for the first match-up of the season.

New York will depend on John Maine (0-1) tonight to finally pitch an effective game, as he will oppose Kenshin Kawakami (0-2),  a right hander who has pitched to an ERA of 2.19 against the Mets in his career.

On Saturday, in afternoon affair, Jon Neise(0-1) and Jair Jurrgens (0-1) will both look for their first victory of 2009. Jurrgens is by far the better pitcher as Neise will need to be sharp for the Mets to secure this middle game.

For the second straight Sunday, the Mets have the ESPN night game, as Tommy Hanson (1-1) and Mike Pelfrey (3-0) match-up. Pelfrey brings his 19-inning scoreless streak to the mound. Over his career, Pelfrey has struggled, pitching to an ERA over 6. This will be a big test for Big Pelf.

This weekend will be the first time the two teams see each other in 2010. The Mets, who have won 3 out of 4 and 4 out of their last 6, look to continue their winning ways against a Braves team that will look to make an early impression against their rivals.

Many preseason picks had the Braves winning the Wild Card. It has been a long time since the Braves were realistic contenders in the National League East. In fact, most have the Braves finishing ahead of the Mets by season end.

New York should approach this weekend with a chip on their shoulders. They should feel that they are the better team and this weekend is an opportunity to show it.

It will be fun to see Jason Heyward in action, the early favorite to win  the rookie of the year award. While Heyward has all the hype of the country behind him (and the bat to back it up), Mets fans are eager to show off their young star, Ike Davis, who is coming off of a 3-4 night against the Cubs.

Of course, Chipper Jones is always one to watch when he comes to Queens as well as Bobby Cox who is managing his final season in Atlanta.

If the Mets can get two this weekend, they will have a 5-2 home stand with the Dodgers coming into town. A series win next week, and New York will have a 7-3 stay in Queens, improving to 11-11.

If New York looks back at this home stand as an opportunity to get even before a crucial series in Philadelphia next weekend, the Mets and their fan base will finally have something to root for.

The Mets took care of business against the Cubs. Their second test begins tonight as the tough Braves from Atlanta bring their bats and their high hopes into town.

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One Response to “BRAVE CHALLENGE”

  1. keithosaunders April 23, 2010 at 8:59 AM #

    Go Mets! It would be great to continue this momentum and to get Maine on the right track. He’s got to step up now against our hated rival and show us something. We need more production from the middle of the lineup too,

    Let’s put some more in the books!

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