Game Preview: New York Mets (11-13) at Atlanta Braves (11-14)



New York Mets (11-13) at Atlanta Braves (11-14)

Pitching matchup: Livan Hernandez (1-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. Kenshin Kawakami (1-3, 7.06 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m. EDT

Location: Turner Field, Atlanta

TV: Peachtree TV Radio: 640 WGST

Weather: Isolated T-Storms, 73 degrees

Twitter: Tomahawk Take

Last night the Atlanta Braves (11-14) failed to hold on to an early 3-0 lead that quickly disappeared when Javier Vazquez self-combusted in the ladder innings. The right-hander fell apart when he accomplished the rare feat of surrendering three separate two-run home runs in a matter of two inning– two coming off the bat of center fielder Carlos Beltran.

In the short two-game series, the Braves will try to take the finale tonight against the New York Mets (11-14).

Toeing the rubber for the Braves will be Kenshin Kawakami (1-3, 7.06 ERA), who has had his fair share of problems of late. In his last start against the Cincinnati Reds, the former Japanese star had by far his worst outing of the season, giving up eight run and eight hits in just 4 2/3 innings.

For a pitcher who was thought to have fantastic control, Kawakami has allowed at least one home run in his first four starts of the season — including two in the loss to the Reds. He has also walked 11 batters in 21 2/3 innings of work.

On the mound for the Mets will be Livan Hernandez (1-1, 6.75 ERA). The veteran righty has surrendered 14 runs combined in his last three starts — a span where he has failed to pitch past the sixth inning.

Hernandez has a lengthy track record against the Atlanta that dates back to his second season in the majors where he stifled the Braves in the 1997 NLCS for a key complete game victory.

However, this Atlanta lineup has fared much better versus Hernandez — specifically third baseman Chipper Jones. The switch-hitter has a lifetime .386 batting average with 12 extra-base hits in 68 at-bats against the New York hurler. Jeff Francoeur (4-for-10, two doubles) has also had success against Hernandez.