New York welcomes the rival-Braves to Citi Field for some September baseball.
Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones ducks a high pitch from New York Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey near his head in the third inning. (September 23, 2009)
Atlanta Braves' Tim Hudson delivers in the first inning against the New York Mets. (September 23, 2009)
New York Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran slides to catch a third-inning line out by Atlanta Braves' Nate McLouth. (September 22, 2009)
Atlanta Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar (19) goes airborne to avoid a collision with New York Mets' Luis Castillo after David Wright grounded into a first-inning double play. (September 22, 2009)
Mets David Wright throws bad after striking out for the third out leaving Luis Castillo on base in the third inning. (September 22, 2009)
Mets Carlos Beltran is forced out at second base by Braves second baseman, Martin Prado who then throws to first base to get Jeff Francoeur out for the double play in the fourth inning. (September 22, 2009)
Braves Yunel Escobar hits a two run single to put the Braves in the lead 2-1 in the fourth inning. (September 22, 2009)
Mets Daniel Murphy flies out for the first out in the fourth inning. (September 22, 2009)
Mets Nelson Figueroa pitches against the Braves in the first inning. (September 22, 2009)
1) They have something to prove
Doesn't it seem as if the Mets have never fully recovered from their heartbreaking Game 7 loss in the 2006 NLCS? Not only did they have a disastrous 2009 season, but there were those two dreadful collapses in 2007 and 2008.
The Mets have never stopped believing they are a top team in the National League (although they've stopped crowing about it so publicly), and they know the only way to exorcise the demons and appease an angry and frustrated fan base is to finally win.
If that's not enough motivation, people like GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel might have to do a little job hunting if things don't well this year.
Pat Misch leaves the game in the second inning after giving up 8 runs in 1 1/3 innings.
Chipper Jones runs the bases after hitting a three run home run in the 2nd inning.
Atlanta Braves catcher Brain McCann, left, watches as New York Mets Daniel Murphy follows through on a fourth-inning home run off Braves starter Derek Lowe in a baseball game at Citi Field in New York, Monday, Sept. 21, 2009.
Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones, left, greets Nate McLouth, foreground, and Martin Prado at the plate after hitting a second-inning, three-run home run off New York Mets starter Pat Misch in at Citi Field in New York, Monday, Sept. 21, 2009.
New York Mets pitcher Pat Misch delivers in the first inning against the Atlanta Bravesat Citi Field in New York, Monday, Sept. 21, 2009. Misch allowed eight runs in 1 1/3 innings before Mets manager Jerry Manuel took him out of the game.