Found April 18, 2012 on The Daily Stache:

Good morning and welcome to another wild day of Mets baseball. Last night Johan Santana got shelled and New York ended up losing to Atlanta 9-3. Fortunately, the opportunity to get over the loss has come quickly, as today’s game begins at 12:10 PM. Daytime baseball!

Mets Lineup
1. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Ike Davis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Lucas Duda, RF
7. Josh Thole, C
8. Ronny Cedeno, SS
9. R.A. Dickey, RHP

With Ruben Tejada being given a much deserved day off, Ronny Cedeno takes over at shortstop for the day, while young Kirk Nieuwenhuis moves up to the lead-off spot in the lineup. Nieuwenhuis has hit safely in five straight games and last night went 2 for 4 to raise his averages to .321/.387/.429 despite 10 strikeouts on the season.

Atlanta Braves Lineup
1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Martin Prado, LF
3. Jason Heyward, RF
4. Dan Uggla, 2B
5. Freddie Freeman, 1B
6. Juan Francisco, 3B
7. David Ross, C
8. Tyler Pastornicky, SS
9. Jair Jurrjens, RHP

After last year’s sophomore slump, Jason Heyward has started the 2012 season on a tear. He’s hitting .361/.439/.611 so far and will bat third today with Chipper Jones and Brian McCann on the bench. In David Ross, the Braves have the luxury of a backup catcher who can really hit. Last season, Ross hit .263/.333/.428 in 152 at-bats, and in 2010 he ripped an awesome .289/.392/.479 in 121 at-bats. Don’t take the man lightly.

Pitching Match-up
For the Mets, R.A. Dickey is back on the hill after a decent first two starts of the season. After having to battle for six innings against these Braves in the second game of the season, Dickey was much more comfortable last Friday night in Philadelphia, when he struck out seven batters while walking just one. Between both starts, Dickey has 10 strikeouts and five walks in 13 innings while allowing three runs and two home runs.

Jair Jurrjens of the Braves can’t be having too much much fun so far this season. Sure, he’s playing baseball for a living, but in doing so, he’s allowed four home runs in just over nine innings of work. Jurrjens is a fly ball pitcher and will give up home runs from time to time, but four in two games is way too much. In his last start against Milwaukee, Jurrjens gave up five runs in five innings with three strikeouts and three walks. Jurrjens this season will almost certainly have a higher ERA than last season’s 2.96, but he won’t be this bad for long, so the Mets should try to take advantage while he’s still rounding into form.

Stache Keys to the Game

  1. Wright is hot — And not just in a superficial way anymore! The Mets star third baseman has reached base at least twice in eight straight games. That’s the longest stretch to start a season in Mets history. Wright’s .517 OBP and .724 slugging percentage have helped make up for cold starts from Davis and Duda.
  2. R.A. is quality — Dickey has rolled off 14 straight quality starts since last July 25, so the Mets are unlikely to get blown out for the second night in a row. The amazing consistency of Dickey is even more impressive because he throws a knuckleball — a pitch notorious for its inconsistency and unpredictability.
  3. Fun on the road — The Mets have not won their first two road series of the season since 2002, but they have a chance to do that today. Getting wins in Philly and Atlanta has rarely been easy for the Mets, so a win today would provide a little extra morale boost.

Santana says he will bounce back

After seeing Johan Santana struggle mightily against the Braves on Tuesday night, New York Mets fans were left to worry about more than just the outcome of the game.  A loss to Atlanta is never easy to stomach, but for me the real reason to reach for the Pepto was the thought that the 33-year-old lefty may not have been right physically in what turned out to be the shortest start...

Braves Rough Up Santana In A 9-3 Mets Loss

SANTANA: Tough go-around today. Johan Santana must have got on the bad side of lady luck as he records only four outs in a 9-3 Mets defeat. Summary If you check the box score, you will see a line of 1.1 IP for Santana with 6 R(4 ER), 4 H, and a walk. Santana has never lasted less than three innings in a game, so this is the shortest outing of his career. I can assure you, however...

Can Kirk Stay In Center?

The big question regarding Kirk Nieuwenhuis is, “Is he the Mets center-fielder of the future?” The skeptics would say no, that he doesn’t possess the pure blazing speed required to play the position in the major leagues. But is it necessary to be a “burner” to play CF effectively? Although having plus speed definitely helps to make up for mistakes, it is not a requirement...

Post Game: Braves Crush Mets 9-3

The New York Mets were finally defeated by the Atlanta Braves tonight at Turner Field 9-3 behind Johan Santana's shortest outing of his career in which he allowed 5 runs in 1 1/3 innings.Johan Santana (1-1, 3.97 ERA) struggled from the outset as Jason Bay dropped a fly ball that eventually allowed Michael Bourn to score in the opening frame. The Braves didn't look back from...

Mets By The Numbers

0.90:  The ERA of Mets' ace Johan Santana through two starts and ten innings pitched this season.  Good for 5th in the National League over that time. 1:  The number of stolen bases by the team through the first ten games this season. Tied for last in MLB with the Tampa Bay Rays.2:  The number of strike outs by David Wright.  To date he is striking out one out of every twelve...

Braves' five-run second bests Santana, Mets

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves finally beat the New York Mets, taking advantage of shaky defense to hand Johan Santana the shortest start of his career in a 9-3 victory Tuesday night. Tyler Pastornicky's two-run double highlighted a five-run second that finished off Santana. Randall Delgado (2-0) won it for the Braves, who lost their first four games against the Mets this...

Braves chase Mets' Santana with five-run second inning

Rookie Tyler Pastornicky belted a two-run double to highlight a five-run second inning and Freddie Freeman also drove in a pair of runs as the host Atlanta Braves posted a 9-3 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday. The victory was Atlanta's first in five tries versus New York this season. Freeman capped an 11-pitch at-bat with an RBI double and Pastornicky scored after advancing...

Bay Back In Lineup, Nieuwenhuis Starts Again, Gee Looks For First Win: Mets Lineup Vs. Braves - April 16, 2012

Mets took one on the chin yesterday that they probably shouldn't have, but look to regroup and get back to their recent winning ways.The Mets shuffle off to Atlanta to take on the red hot Braves, who have won 5 games in a row after getting swept by the Mets to open the 2012 season.Dillon Gee takes the knoll and will oppose Tommy Hanson. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, quickly becoming a favorite of Terry

Seven Positive Signs For The Mets

Earlier today I posed the question if the Mets were for real. Ten games is not enough of a window to jump on the bandwagon, but it is big enough to sense that there’s something positive going on. 1) David Wright is stroking the ball with authority. Even after missing several games he’s been consistently on, driving the ball to the opposite field which has always been a benchmark...

Braves Bring the Bats, Hammer Mets Who Fall to .500 on Road Trip

This afternoon the Mets (7-5) fell to the Atlanta Braves (7-5) by the final score of 14-6. After looking un-hittable in the first inning, R.A. Dickey got smacked around by the Braves’ hitters giving up three 2-run homers, and 8 runs in 4 1/3 innings of work. There’s really nothing else to say about today’s game other than the Braves hit the snot out of the ball and the Mets...

Game Preview: Mets @ Braves 7:10 PM

The New York Mets (7-3) will try to win the series against the Atlanta Braves tonight at Turner Field. The game will be played at 7:10 PM and can be seen on SNY. Starting Lineups: Mets Tuesday lineup at ATL: Tejada-SS, Murphy-2B, Wright-3B, Davis-1B, Bay-LF, Duda-RF, Thole-C, Nieuwenhuis-CF, Santana-LHP — New York Mets (@Mets) April 17, 2012 Tonight’s lineup vs. NYM (7:10, FSS...

For Starters, And Relievers

If there was any doubt that it all starts with pitching, especially starting pitching, then look back at the last two games. First Johan Santana tanked. Today, R.A. Dickey gives up eight runs in four and a third to send the Mets to their second straight loss. It's a shame to bang out fourteen hits, score six and lose. But when your starter can't come up with a quality start...

Series Preview: Mets @ Braves

The 6-3 Mets are headed to the 5-4 Atlanta Braves tonight, for a re-match of the opening series in which the Braves appeared to sleep through their alarm for the early 1pm games. The Braves got swept in New York, but since then have won 5 of their last 6 games. So we need to be careful with making assumptions about this week’s series. Why? Well for starters, the Braves have Chipper...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.