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Mets Vs. Braves: Jair Jurrjens Steals The Show In Season Debut

Saturday, April 16
(4-9) New York Mets - 2
(5-8) Atlanta Braves - 4

(4-10) New York Mets - 0
(6-8) Atlanta Braves - 4

Two Strong Pitching Performances:
The Braves took advantage of the doubleheader by receiving two great pitching performances from Derek Lowe and Jair Jurrjens.

Lowe received eight ground balls to three fly balls and three line drives, resulting in six innings of two-run ball on five hits, walking two and striking out four. After a tremendous start to the season with the strikeout rate, it has come down to earth somewhat over the last two starts. But that doesn't take away from just four singles and one double over six innings against the Mets.

Jurrjens had what I'm sure will prove as one of his best outings of the year in his season debut, pitching seven shutout innings on two hits, walking one and striking out four. He retired the minimum through five innings and allowed just three baserunners, one on a double, one on a single and one walk. Two of the three were erased by a caught stealing and pickoff, and the other was stranded.

Jurrjens worked inside well, as he is accustomed to doing when he is confident in his stuff. He threw a large amount of cut fastballs and changeups, both of which were effective and kept hitters off balance. The fastball ranged 88-92 MPH, while the changeup had some tumbling action to it at around 82 MPH. The slider was hit or miss with the bite at times, but he didn't leave it over the plate, which is the most important thing.

If Jurrjens is working his moving fastball in on right-handers at a consistent rate, there is a good chance he will have a good day. That is a pretty solid indicator of his stuff that day.

Stat of the Day:
The Braves recorded a .440 BABIP in the second game.

The Game Changer:
In the first game, Willie Harris doubled home a run in the sixth to bring the Mets to within a run, worth .137 WPA.

In the second game, Dan Uggla singled in a run in the first inning for a 1-0 score, worth .096 WPA.

WPA Winners (both games):
(ATL) Jair Jurrjens: .340 (2nd game)
(ATL) Alex Gonzalez: .159 (1st game)
(ATL) Derek Lowe: .135 (1st game)

WPA Losers (both games):
(NYM) D.J. Carrasco: -.161 (1st game)
(NYM) Mike Pelfrey: -.157 (2nd game)
(NYM) David Wright: -.156 (1st game)

Courtesy of FanGraphs:

For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Mets fans check out Amazin Avenue.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.