Mar 25, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana (30) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets at Atlanta Braves preview: Ervin Santana debuts


Update: The lineup has been released for Wednesday night, and BJ Upton has the night off while Andrelton Simmons moves up to the #2 spot.

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The first home series for the Atlanta Braves started with a thud in a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Bartolo Colon and the New York Mets on Tuesday night, but as usual in baseball, there is a quick turnaround, as the same two teams are set to face-off again on Wednesday. The headliner in this particular match-up is the Braves debut of starting pitcher Ervin Santana, and that storyline is enough to carry the day here.

As you know by now, the 31-year-old Santana was signed to a massive, 1-year contract in the wake of some severe pitching injuries, and he needed a bit of extra time to get ready for his Major League slate. With that said, Santana is said to be “good to go” for a full start on Wednesday, and Braves fans are hoping he can replicate his stellar 2013 campaign where he posted a 3.24 ERA over 211 innings with the Kansas City Royals.

Santana will be opposed by youngster Zack Wheeler on the Mets side, and despite the miserable offensive results on Tuesday, Wheeler presents the biggest challenge to Atlanta’s offense in the series. Despite being only 23 years old, Wheeler has already flashed quality stuff at the Major League level (3.42 ERA over 100.2 innings in 2013), but if there is a weakness, it is with control, as evidenced by a career 4.08 BB/9 walk rate in the Majors. That plays into the hands of some members of the Atlanta lineup, but if Wheeler has his high-end stuff working, the strikeouts could rack up in a hurry for guys like BJ Upton, who is struggling for contact on a regular basis.

Here is a look at the particulars for Wednesday:

Date: April 9, 2014

Start Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV Channel: Fox Sports South

Radio: 680 AM/106.7 FM (Local in Atlanta), Full list of Local Affiliates

Live Stream: MLB.tv (Click Here, $)

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@ATLBeatBlog) for more information, and check back after the game for a full recap. Sound off in the comments!

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Tags: Atlanta Braves