The Braves have won four straight games, taking consecutive series from the two best teams in their own division. They need just three more wins to avoid 100 losses, but there’s a big obstacle in their path tonight in the form of Bartolo “Big Sexy” Colon.
The Mets, meanwhile, are in the midst of a tempest wrapped in a whirlwind surrounded by a jokulhaups. Which is to say, they live in very interesting times. They’re now in a three-way tie with the Giants and Cardinals for the two NL
Wild Card Lightning Round spots, and the hits just keep on comin’ for them, as Jacob deGrom is now out for the season and Steven Matz’s return to the rotation is still a bit of an enigma in both form and function.
At least Colon just keeps on trucking for the Mets, something for which they’ve got to be thankful. Everyone’s favorite athlete is putting together another very solid season despite his advanced age (43!): 3.14 ERA, 3.96 FIP, 4.21 xFIP. Far from wearing down, he’s actually put together a 3.81 FIP in the second half, and has allowed three runs over his last three starts, with all of those coming in one game (meaning he had two scoreless outings sandwiching that contest). However, that game where he did give up the runs was against the Braves: he allowed homers to Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp, yielding three runs in six innings. The Braves won that game 4-3 on an Adonis Garcia walkoff single in the 10th.
Up to that point, Colon had allowed just one run in 15 innings (two starts) to the Braves this season. But these are not the same Braves, as they lead all of MLB in wRC+ in the second half, and are tied with the Red Sox for the most productive crop of position players over the last 30 calendar days. (They also have a 129 wRC+ over the last 30 calendar days, which is ca-razy.)
Ryan Weber was six years old when Colon made his major league debut, but gets to face off against him tonight. Using Weber’s season stats at this point seems foolhardy given how he’s bounced around between Gwinnett and Atlanta, and he even made a spot start a couple of weeks ago (where he got drilled by the Nationals for five runs, including two homers, in three innings). But, he did pitch nearly five innings of one-run ball against the Nats a few days ago in relief of John Gant, which bought him a start.
Also, while it’s late in the season, in case you’re wondering what happened to Mike Foltynewicz and why he hasn’t started in about a week: Folty suffered an ankle contusion after being hit with a comebacker on September 12, and is missing his turn(s) in the rotation due to calf soreness. Williams Perez, who is also theoretically on the depth chart ahead of Weber (for some reason) is likely out for the rest of the season with an elbow impingement, hence Weber being pressed into duty.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 7:10 pm ET
Citi Field, New York, NY
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network, 680 AM / 93.7 FM