Braves vs. Mets and the return of the Johan

He’s baaaaaaack! After three weeks on the shelf with a sprained ankle, Johan Santana makes his triumphant return to the mound tonight against the Atlanta Braves. Did anyone realize that Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake spells his first name the way it sounds instead of the way Santana does? Very interesting! Kind of.

Garrett Olson’s tenure with the Mets lasted only one-third of an inning. In his only appearance, he allowed four runs and only recorded one out on Wednesday versus Miami. He very nearly was sent off with an infinite ERA. Fun!

In the eight starts he made since pitching a no-hitter versus St. Louis on June 1, Santana has allowed 11 home runs and is sporting a 6.54 ERA. Hitters are hitting .305/.363/.575 over that span, so hopefully the rest will do Santana good.

Atlanta’s starter Kris Medlen has bounced back and fourth between starting and relieving throughout his major league career. This season, he started out in the pen, but was forced into the rotation because of a lack of healthy and effective starters. As a reliever, Medlen had a 2.48 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 13 walks in 54.1 innings. He hasn’t looked too bad as a starter either. In each of Medlen’s two starts, he’s allowed only one run, but neither went more than 5.1 innings.

The right-handed Medlen threw 57 pitches in his first start and 79 in his second, so he might just be able to approach 100 this time around. Meanwhile, Santana probably won’t throw more than 100 pitches either.

Hit the jump for tonight’s lineups.

No Valdespin tonight for the Mets. The super aggressive slugger has hit the skids with a .125 August average after a red hot July. Instead, we get to see Scott Hairston bat against the right-handed Medlen. Hairston is hitting .214/.267/.438 against righties this season. The five home runs in 120 plate appearances might make it worthwhile, though.

Reed Johnson was another Cubbie the Braves acquired at the deadline. He’s got a .861 OPS against lefties this season, so watch out.

Enjoy the game! Follow me on Twitter @apy5000 for more fun.

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