Chipper Jones is guaranteed at least one more home contest after Sunday with the wild-card game looking like it will take place at Turner Field for theAtlanta Braves. Regardless, Sunday will mark Jones’ final regular-season game in front of the home fans and final chance to torment the New York Mets. Perhaps feeling the weight of the season and 19-year career, Jones is hitless in his last four games.
The Braves are mathematically still alive for the National League East crown, sitting four games behind the Washington Nationals with four to play. Not content to limp into the postseason, Atlanta has won 11 of its last 14 games to keep the pressure on. The Mets took the series opener on Friday but were shut out 2-0 by Mike Minor and the Braves’ bullpen on Saturday. Jones is a career .310 hitter against New York with 49 home runs, matching Philadelphia for his most against any team. His farewell tour has not been as successful, however, with the future Hall of Famer batting just .136 (6-for-44) with one homer against the Mets in 2012.
Mets Braves Betting
When: 1:35 PM ET, Sunday, September 30, 2012
Where: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, WPIX (New York), FSS (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 4.91 ERA) vs. Braves RH Kris Medlen (9-1, 1.64)
Mejia will be making his third start among five appearances since being recalled at the beginning of the month. The former top prospect was sharp against Pittsburgh on Monday, allowing four hits and striking out four in five scoreless innings to pick up the win. The 22-year-old made his first appearance of 2012 against Atlanta, allowing a solo homer to Dan Uggla in two innings.
Medlen will be looking to set a major league record on Sunday. The Braves have won the last 22 games the right-hander has started, tying Whitey Ford and the Yankees and Carl Hubbell and the Giants for the record. Medlen, who would start the one-game wild card playoff on regular rest Friday, has not lost since joining the rotation at the end of July. He did allow more than two runs for the first time on Tuesday, when he was reached for three runs in seven innings against Miami. Medlen has beaten the Mets twice in his last nine starts, yielding a total of three runs in 12 1/3 innings.
1. Atlanta CF Michael Bourn (sprained left thumb) has missed the last six games. He could return on Sunday.
2. Mets SS Ruben Tejada had his 10-game hitting streak come to an end on Saturday. Tejada (.292) will need to get hot to finish the season with a .300 average.
3. Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has yet to allow a run in September and has issued only two walks in 12 appearances this month.