Monday, April 7, 2014
Series preview: Mets at Braves
By Adam Rubin
Associated Press/USA TODAY SportsMETS (2-4, fifth place/NL East) at ATLANTA BRAVES (4-2, second place/NL East)
The Mets will face Aaron Harang, Ervin Santana and David Hale this week at Turner Field.
Tuesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (0-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (1-0, 0.00), 7:10 p.m. ET
Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (0-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET
Thursday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 1.50) vs. RHP David Hale (0-0, 0.00), 7:10 p.m. ET
Braves short hops
• During a pregame ceremony before Tuesday’s Braves home opener, Atlanta will recognize the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run. The shot came on April 8, 1974 and broke Babe Ruth’s record. The Braves are wearing patches this season to commemorate the anniversary. Aaron, 80, will be on hand. He underwent partial left hip replacement surgery Feb. 14 after falling on ice.
Courtesy of Atlanta BravesThe Braves are wearing this patch to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron becoming MLB's home run king.
• The Braves unexpectedly dumped Freddy Garcia on March 24 and signed 35-year-old Aaron Harang for a rotation spot. Harang took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in Milwaukee in his Braves debut. Opposing pitcher Matt Garza also took a no-hit bid into that frame. Logan Schafer’s single to lead off the bottom of the seventh ended Harang’s bid. Harang, who finished last season with the Mets, had been released by the Cleveland Indians late in spring training.
• Ervin Santana signed for one-year, $14.1 million on March 12 after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy both suffered spring-training elbow injuries and ultimately required Tommy John surgery. Santana, who had a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts for the Kansas City Royals last season, will make his Braves debut Wednesday against the Mets. He allowed six runs (five earned) in 5 1/3 innings on Friday for Triple-A Gwinnett against Durham in his final tune-up.
• Atlanta also is missing a third starting pitcher -- left-hander Mike Minor. Minor, hindered by shoulder tendinitis during spring training, logged two innings for Double-A Mississippi on Thursday in a rehab start.
• Right-hander David Hale tossed five scoreless innings in his season debut at the Washington Nationals on Friday. It was his third career major-league start. Last September, Hale limited the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies to a combined one run in 13 innings. He is a third-round pick in 2009 out of Princeton. To earn the rotation role, Hale beat out fellow rookie Gus Schlosser, who instead found a spot in the bullpen as a longer reliever.
• The Braves claimed ex-Met Pedro Beato off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.
• Brothers B.J. Upton and Justin Upton were a combined 2-for-31 with 16 strikeouts through Friday before each produced a two-hit game Saturday at Nationals Park.
• The Braves lead the majors with a 1.56 ERA.
• Closer Craig Kimbrel notched his 142nd career save Friday, passing Gene Garber for second on the franchise’s all-time list. John Smoltz owns the franchise record with 154 saves. Smoltz also won 210 games as a Brave.
• The Braves went on a late-winter signing binge, locking up several core players long term. The signings:
Feb. 5: First baseman Freddie Freeman, eight years, $135 million
Feb. 14: Right-hander Julio Teheran, six years, $32.4 million
Feb. 16: Kimbrel, four years, $42 million
Feb. 20: Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, seven years, $58 million
Right fielder Jason Heyward also signed for two years, $13.3 million on Feb. 4 to avoid arbitration.
• Simmons earned his first Gold Glove last season.
• The Braves, who have played at Turner Field since it opened for baseball the year after the 1996 Olympics, will move to a new ballpark in Cobb County for the 2017 season. The 42,000-seat stadium, which will be located 10 miles north of downtown Atlanta, is projected to cost $672 million. The Braves have disputed the publicly financed contribution to that price tag, which has been reported as $450 million.
• The probable Braves batting order:
B.J. Upton, cf
Chris Johnson, 3b
Justin Upton, lf
Dan Uggla, 2b
Evan Gattis/Gerald Laird/Ryan Doumit, c
• Over the weekend, Heyward dealt with muscle spasms in the back of his neck that have resulted in headaches. He still wears a protective flap attached to his helmet to protect his jaw, which he fractured on a 90 mph fastball from Jonathon Niese last August.