Southpaws square off in Mets-Braves series finale




A pair of talented young southpaws will face off when the Atlanta Braves host the New York Mets on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series.

Atlanta's Max Fried (7-3, 4.11 ERA) opposes New York's Steven Matz (5-4, 3.93) as the Braves complete a 10-game homestand and prepare for a 10-game road trip.

Fried has not had a good June. He does not have a decision in three starts, but he owns a 7.98 ERA in that span. He failed to make it past the fifth inning in two of those starts. In his last outing on Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies, Fried allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Fried has made six career appearances against the Mets, two of them starts, going 0-1 with a 1.26 ERA. He did not pitch against New York when the teams met earlier this season.

Matz will be making his 14th start of the season. In his latest outing on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals, he gave up four runs, three earned, on three hits while walking two and striking out six in six innings. He did not receive a decision.

Matz has never lost to the Braves. In eight career starts against Atlanta, Matz is 5-0 with a 2.78 ERA in 45 1/3 innings. His 2.78 ERA against the Braves is his lowest against a team from the NL East, and the five wins are his high against any opponent.

In his last start against Atlanta on April 11, Matz went six innings and gave up two earned runs on four hits and one walk, striking out eight. He was credited with the victory as New York prevailed 6-3.

The Braves didn't have batting practice on Tuesday. Manager Brian Snitker had cancelled it on Monday, which turned out to be a good decision since rain caused the ground crew to cover the field at SunTrust Park. Neither team was able to take batting practice on the field.

"That was great timing," Snitker said. "We could have been sitting around here all afternoon."

Because of the hot temperatures, Snitker wanted to give the team a day off from batting practice. He opted for Tuesday, since the club has a travel day on Thursday.

The Braves' offense hit a snag on Tuesday against Mets' starter Jacob deGrom and managed only two runs, both on ninth-inning homers when the game had already been decided in an eventual 10-2 Mets win. DeGrom struck out 10 Atlanta batters and moved past Al Leiter and into seventh place on the team's all-time strikeout list.

"That's the best stuff I've had all year," deGrom said.

It was a rare off night for the Atlanta offense that had produced 90 runs in the previous 11 games, the most in a similar stretch since 2006.

New York benefited from a closed-door meeting for players only after an embarrassing 12-3 loss to Atlanta on Monday, and they came out swinging. Pete Alonso recorded the first four-hit game of his career and hit his 24th homer, two shy of the club's rookie record.

"It was all just honesty," Alonso said about the meeting. "We were just being honest with ourselves. We are not going to fold. We have a lot of ball left."

The Braves are 7-2 on their homestand. The Mets are off to a 1-1 start to an 11-game road trip.

--Field Level Media

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