While Wednesday's matchup between Atlanta and New York originally set up as a pitchers' duel, the Braves will instead give one of their best young arms a breather.
Filling in for Julio Teheran, Kameron Loe makes his first big league start in six years opposite Dillon Gee as Atlanta goes for a three-game home sweep.
With the postseason fast approaching, the NL East-leading Braves (85-53) are planning to give the 22-year-old Teheran some extra rest down the stretch. As a result, Atlanta will give the ball to Loe (0-1, 6.55 ERA), who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday after posting a 2.40 ERA in his last five minor league starts.
"If he could give us a good, solid outing, our guys could really use it right now," manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Loe, whose last major league start came Sept. 3, 2007, while with Texas.
Loe, who opened the year with Seattle before spending some time with the Chicago Cubs, signed with the Braves on May 11. After going 0-1 with a 10.13 ERA in two relief appearances in July, the veteran right-hander is hoping to deliver better results in the rotation.
"I ended up talking my way into the starting rotation (in Triple-A)," he told MLB's official website. "I wanted to do that so I could work on my changeup, my cutter, a couple other things that I felt like I needed to do, and it gave me a chance to get a lot of repetitions, which is good."
Set to make his first start against New York (62-75), Loe will likely need to be on his game versus Gee (10-9, 3.63).
The right-hander, 8-3 with a 2.47 ERA in his last 17 starts, is looking to win a career high-tying third consecutive road outing after allowing two runs in 7 2-3 innings in Friday's 3-2 victory at Washington.
"Gee has good stuff, but he is extremely smart on the mound," Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond said. "When you hit against him, you can't think along with him. So much of hitting is mental. You try to think along with the pitcher. It's not guessing, it's more anticipating, waiting for a ball in a certain zone. Gee mixes his stuff a lot. Tonight, when he is especially sharp like that, it makes it even tougher."
Gee is 0-1 despite a 1.17 ERA in his last two matchups versus Atlanta. After going the distance in a 2-1 walkoff loss at Turner Field on June 17, Gee threw seven scoreless innings in a 2-1 defeat July 22.
While Justin Upton, Evan Gattis, Dan Uggla, Chris Johnson, and Brian McCann are a combined 6 for 46 (.130) against Gee since the start of last year, Freddie Freeman is 5 for his last 9 with a homer and a double in their matchups.
Gattis, who was briefly sent down to Triple-A before getting recalled Tuesday, went 3 for 3 with a game-tying homer later that night as Atlanta pulled out a 3-1 victory. Andrelton Simmons added a two-run shot for the Braves, who have won eight of nine overall and 20 of 24 at home.
"I felt fixed before leaving," said Gattis, who went 5 for 36 (.139) in August. "It's good to go there and really kind of put it into action. It was good to have a good night."
The Mets have dropped nine of 13, including three straight on the road. Eric Young, though, has been a bright spot, going 11 for 26 with five RBIs, eight runs and four stolen bases in his last six games.