As the Braves have put together a five-game winning streak, the Mets have lost four of their last five contests. They will need starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who gave up five runs in six innings in his last start on Friday, to be their stopper in in the second game against the Braves on Tuesday at Turner Field.
It's been seven years since Matsuzaka beat the Braves as a Boston rookie on May 19, 2007. Granted, the 33-year-old will only be making his fourth start against them. But in his five turns on the mound, which include two relief appearances, the team has caused him some trouble. He's allowed 16 earned runs in 19 innings against the Braves throughout his career.
With Dillon Gee's impending return to the rotation, Matsuzaka might want to change that if he wants to remain a starter. He did manage to keep the Braves off the board the last time he faced them, though, when he threw three frames of five-strikeout relief in a 14-inning Mets home win on April 20.
And although Matsuzaka hasn't had the best luck as a starter for the Mets, going 2-2 with a 4.08 ERA in six turns, he will be facing the Braves' Mike Minor, who's had an uncharacteristic season.
In the first half last year, the lefty was 9-4 with 3.02 ERA in 19 starts. Minor missed the first month of the 2014 season with left shoulder tendinitis, but he hasn't been at his sharpest in the last few weeks. Despite a string of five straight quality starts from May 13 to June 4, when he posted a 1.87 ERA in 33 2/3 innings, he's 2-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 11 starts this season.
In his last five starts, he is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in 22 innings, including one quality start and a .364 batting average against. Minor hasn't been able to keep his pitch count down and tossed 512 pitches in five June starts. At Houston on Friday, he threw 103 pitches in six innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits, including one homer.
It also hasn't helped that opponents have taken Minor out of the park 11 times. In fact, he's only gone two starts this year without giving up a home run. At least the Mets don't hit many round-trippers. With just 61 homers to their name, they're ranked 25th in the Majors.
Mets: Campbell fitting in
The Mets continue to play without David Wright, who is not expected to return until Friday. As a result, Eric Campbell has been filling in for him at third. Campbell came onto the scene this spring, when he hit .304 in 24 games. He then lit it up at Triple-A Las Vegas, hitting .355 with three homers, 15 doubles and 24 RBIs in 33 games before the Mets called him up.
He's performed well for the Mets since then, accumulating a .313 average with seven doubles and eight RBIs in 34 games.
"I feel fine with Eric in the lineup," manager Terry Collins said. "He does a lot of things at the plate. He can run for a big guy, so he brings a little something to the table."
Braves: J. Upton looks to get back on track at home
In 40 games on the road this season, Justin Upton has just a .228 average with 19 RBIs and a .291 on-base percentage. But in the most recent 10 away games, the outfielder managed to turn it around, as he went 10-for-36 and drove in nine of those RBIs.
"Yeah, it was a good trip for me," Upton said. "I started to feel it a little bit in Houston and then hit a few home runs and I was driving the ball all over the ballpark, so any time I see that, I know that it's coming and I carried it out for the rest of the trip."
With any luck, Upton will be able to bring that streak back to Turner Field, where in his last eight home games, he is 5-for-37 with just three runs scored.
It's strange because, as a whole, Upton has good numbers at home season. He owned a .333/.407/.636 slash line entering Monday's game.
• The Braves will get a longer look at second-ranked prospect Christian Bethancourt now that catcher Evan Gattis will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bulging thoracic disk. A corresponding move will be announced before Tuesday's game.
• The Mets committed three errors in the eighth inning of Monday's game. The last time they made three errors in a game was on May 30 at Philadelphia in a 14-inning loss.
Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.