Atlanta (80-70) at New York (65-86)

Partly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 45° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Tue Sep 22, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jair Jurrjens(notes) is one victory shy of matching his career high. The New York Mets have helped the Atlanta pitcher get to this point.

The right-hander looks to accomplish the personal feat and lead the Braves to a seventh straight win over the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

Jurrjens (12-10, 2.75 ERA) has quietly putting together a strong season for Atlanta (80-70), which beat New York 11-3 on Monday to move within five games of wild-card leader Colorado with 12 to play.

“Mathematically, we’re still in it, even though it’s going to be tough,” Monday’s winning pitcher Derek Lowe(notes) said. “But as long as we keep winning, put the pressure on everybody else, that’s all you can do.”

Atlanta has won nine of 11 overall and is 11-5 this season against New York, which has dropped six in a row to the Braves since winning 9-4 at home Aug. 18.

“Right now I think we’re just having fun,” said Jurrjens, who’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in 23 of his 31 starts. “We’re not worried about the standings anymore. We just go out there and play good ball.”

Jurrjens makes his second straight start against the Mets (65-86) after allowing one earned run in seven innings of a 7-3 home victory over New York on Thursday. He’s 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA in seven career starts versus the Mets, including 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA this season.

“He’s at the top of his game every time that he goes out there,” manager Bobby Cox told the Braves’ official Web site.

Veteran Chipper Jones(notes) has usually been on top of his game against New York, as he’s a .324 lifetime hitter with 42 homers versus the Mets. The 37-year-old third baseman hit his 17th homer and drove in four runs Monday.

“It’s coming,” said Jones, who is batting .350 in his last six games, but is considering retirement if he struggles next season. “Right-handed, I feel a lot better. Left-handed is still, as you saw in the last couple at-bats, it’s just not there yet. But it’s good to contribute the last couple days. Almost makes the game fun again.”

Though he’s fared well against the Mets overall, Jones is 2 for 12 versus New York’s scheduled starter Nelson Figueroa(notes) (2-6, 5.21).

Figueroa looks to avoid losing his fourth straight start, and second in a row to Jurrjens and the Braves.

The right-hander allowed six runs in five innings in the loss to Atlanta on Thursday, falling to 0-3 with a 6.61 ERA this month and 2-1 with a 4.81 ERA in four career starts versus the Braves.

Daniel Murphy(notes) homered and doubled Monday, but is wasn’t enough for the Mets to avoid their 12 loss in 16 games. The first baseman is batting .358 with three homers and 12 RBIs in his last 14 games, and .308 lifetime versus Jurrjens.

“I like the way Daniel Murphy is swinging the bat,” New York manager Jerry Manuel said. “He’s really coming on.”

New York is 2-5 at home against Atlanta this season.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Jurrjens Col vs. N. Figueroa Ari
14-10 Record 3-8
2.60 ERA 4.09
152 K 59
75 BB 24
1.21 WHIP 1.48


Tuesday, Sep 22