Mets Rumors & News
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I was convinced that the 2008 Jerry Manuel–led Mets were different than last year. They showed a resilience after every devastating loss that wasn’t there last season, and even when injury after injury piled up (and they’re still piling up), they just plugged somebody else in there and didn’t make any excuses. But as soon as Luis Ayala gave up that three-run homer to Greg Norton last Sunday, they instantly transformed themselves back into the 2007 collapsing Mets. In the first two games in DC, every batter stepped up to the plate shaking, sweating profusely, chain smoking, grinding his bat into sawdust and hoping upon hope that it wasn’t really his turn to bat. You could see the pressure on their faces with every pitch. But the last two games of the series, they were back to the Jerry Manuel Mets. Wednesday’s game was their routine tightrope act that they’ve won and lost 20 times this year. And last night they were as loose and easy as a Jerry Manuel press conference.

Now the Mets go down to Georgia, looking for a soul to steal… ok, maybe just to play a three-game series. The Mets wrestled two losses out of the jaws of victory in last weekend’s three-game series with the Braves. They’re only 6-9 against Atlanta this season. While Chief Noc-a-Homa is saddened by the demise of the Braves and their few fans get ready to put away their faux tomahawks for the year, Atlanta gets one more shot at the Mets.

Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday: Oliver Perez (10-7, 4.09) vs. Jo-Jo Reyes (3-11, 5.50)

Saturday: Pedro Martinez (5-5, 5.47) vs. Jorge Campillo (7-7, 3.79)

Sunday: Mike Pelfrey (13-10, 3.67) vs. James Parr (1-0, 2.20)

Mets-Braves History:

The Mets’ all-time record against the Atlanta Braves (or the Boston Beaneaters, Boston Doves, Boston Rustlers, Boston Braves, Boston Bees and Milwaukee Braves, as they were also known) is 297-353. The first game these two teams ever played against each other was on May 11, 1962. The Braves won, 8-5, at the Polo Grounds. On July 4th, 1985, they played a 19-inning game in which the Mets won, 16-13. Keith Hernandez hit for the cycle, Dwight Gooden started the game, Ron Darling finished the game and Tom Gorman won the game despite allowing a homer to Braves pitcher Rick Camp in the bottom of the 18th to tie the game. Camp had a lifetime average of .074. The two teams also met in the first-ever National League playoff series in 1969, when Atlanta was in the NL West. The underdog Mets swept the powerhouse Braves (Hank Aaron, Rico Carty, Orlando Cepeda) three games to none. Atlanta (and Cincinnati) was originally put in the West Division, because the owners of the Cubs and Cardinals had more clout and wanted their teams in the NL East so they’d play most of their games in the Eastern Time Zone. They eventually moved to the East in 1994 with the sole reason being so they could terrorize the Mets. Of course the next time they would match up in the playoffs would be 1999, when Atlanta defeated the Mets, four games to two. Which is always a reminder of these two words: Kenny Rogers. Ouch.

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