ATLANTA - Guaranteed, the Mets never will have a winning record at Turner Field. That's because they entered Saturday night's game against the Braves with a 62-98 won-lost record at the ballpark and will have only Sunday's final 2014 game here, plus two more seasons -- possibly 20 total games -- before the Braves move to their proposed new stadium in Cobb County, northwest of downtown Atlanta, in 2017.
Turner Field has been in use a mere 17 years -- 18, if its single summer as the 1996 Olympic Stadium counts. After its brief use for the U.S. track and field trials and the Olympic Games, it was downsized from an 85,000-seat oval to its current 49,586 baseball configuration.
Officials at Georgia State University want to pare down the seating again and make Turner the school's home football stadium, with about 33,000 seats. Just north of Turner remains the footprint of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, where Hank Aaron famously broke Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1974.
With Juan Lagares nursing a strained elbow -- Lagares did not travel to Atlanta with the team -- and Kirk Nieuwenhuis unavailable to play Friday after passing a kidney stone, Matt den Dekker played centerfield in the first game of the series. Against Atlanta lefthander Mike Minor On Saturday night, Mets manager Terry Collins replaced den Dekker in the lineup with righthanded-hitting Eric Campbell, who played rightfield while Curtis Granderson went to center.
Horwitz doesn't miss
Only a well-struck ninth-inning line drive at Atlanta second baseman Tommy La Stella prevented Daniel Murphy, 4-for-4 to that point with three singles and a double, from getting his first career five-hit game Friday night. As with his previous 12 four-hit games, Murphy said Mets publicist Jay Horwitz "reminded me again that I've never had five."