New York (32-34) at Atlanta (38-29)

Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Tue Jun 14, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jair Jurrjens(notes) hasn’t been outpitched many times this season, but that’s exactly what happened when the Atlanta Braves visited the New York Mets less than two weeks ago.

Getting the ball opposite Jonathon Niese(notes) could mean another pitchers’ duel, but Jurrjens may have a decided advantage.

Jurrjens looks to continue his dominance at Turner Field when the Braves open a three-game set against the Mets on Tuesday night.

Jurrjens (8-2, 1.82 ERA) has the lowest qualifying ERA in baseball, and is tied for second in the majors in wins - one more than he had during an injury-plagued 2010.

The right-hander wasn’t very sharp against the Mets (32-34) on June 4, allowing a season-high four runs and six hits with six strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-0 loss. He was surprisingly bested by rookie Dillon Gee(notes), who limited Atlanta (38-29) to four hits in seven innings.

Jurrjens got untracked in strong fashion Thursday, yielding two runs in seven innings while adding an RBI single in a 3-2 win at Florida.

Generating some momentum from that performance may be made much easier at home, where Jurrjens has won all four of his starts with a 1.50 ERA. That includes a gem versus New York in his season debut April 16, when he pitched two-hit ball over seven innings in a 4-0 win.

Jurrjens has a 1.38 ERA while winning all five starts against the Mets at Turner.

He’ll try to help the Braves rebound from Monday’s 8-3 loss at Houston, which ended their six-game winning streak.

Getting back in the win column may not be easy against Niese (5-5, 3.51), who is 3-1 with a 1.34 ERA his last five starts, striking out 33 in 33 2-3 innings. Included in that stretch was an excellent performance against the Braves on June 3. The left-hander limited Atlanta to two runs over 7 2-3 innings before leaving without a decision in a 6-3 loss.

“I think confidence is the big thing, just knowing I’m able to get hitters out,” Niese said. “If you don’t trust your stuff, they’re going to hit you. … Until you experience success in the big leagues, I don’t think you can have that confidence.”

Niese is coming off one of his best outings of the season, mixing his changeup and cutter to hold Milwaukee to one run and three hits while fanning eight in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-1 win Thursday.

“That is as good as I’ve seen him pitch,” manager Terry Collins said. “You talk about command of all three pitches, all four pitches.”

Niese is 1-2 with a 2.88 ERA in six starts against Atlanta, but was reached for eight runs - three earned - and 10 hits through 4 2-3 innings in a 9-2 loss Aug. 31 in his only appearance at Turner Field.

The Mets dropped to 4-3 on their 10-game trip with a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday.

Jose Reyes(notes) leads the majors with a .342 average and 11 triples. He’s 7 for 16 with two doubles, two triples, four RBIs and six runs his last four meetings with the Braves, helping New York win three.

Reyes, though, is 3 for 20 versus Jurrjens.

Atlanta’s Brian McCann(notes), 0 for 6 with three strikeouts against Niese, is hitting .400 with five homers and 12 RBIs in his past 13 games.

The Mets have lost 14 of 19 in Atlanta.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Niese NYM vs. J. Jurrjens Col
11-11 Record 13-6
4.40 ERA 2.96
138 K 90
44 BB 44
1.41 WHIP 1.22


Tuesday, Jun 14