The Braves left-hander lasted just two innings and gave up seven runs against the Phillies on Sunday, a game Atlanta managed to win, 8-7. Maholm (11-9, 3.79 ERA) still has just a 2.77 ERA since the All-Star break, and he tossed a shutout the last time he faced the Mets, a 4-0 Atlanta win on Aug. 10.
Maholm faces the Mets again on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET to start a three-game series at Citi Field as the Braves -- who currently hold the first Wild Card spot in the National League after two straight wins -- hope to solidify their playoff standing.
This series will be Chipper Jones' last against the Mets in New York. Always known as a Mets killer, Jones has a .314 average and 49 home runs against them in his career, though he's hit just .207 against New York this year. The 49 homers he's hit against the Mets are the most against any team, tied with the Phillies. Jones has a news conference set for Friday afternoon.
New York's starter, lefty Jon Niese (10-8, 3.55 ERA), also lost to the Phillies his last time out, allowing three runs in six innings on Thursday. Although Niese's final line in the 3-2 loss wasn't terrible, five of the nine hits he gave up went for extra bases.
"I really didn't feel like I had much energy out there today," Niese said after the game. "It's one of those things where you've just got to get it done and execute pitches when you need to."
Niese has lost two consecutive starts, but the most runs he allowed in any August start was four, and that happened just once. He has an impressive 3.23 ERA in the second half.
Maholm is not the only one with recent success in this matchup. Niese has won both his starts against Atlanta this season, the most recent an eight-inning, one-run effort in a 6-5 victory the bullpen almost gave back on Aug. 12.
The Mets come into the series following an off-day Thursday, while the Braves took three out of four from Colorado this week. New York is fresh off a 6-3 road trip.
Friday marks the start of a six-game, two-city road trip for the Braves, who visit Milwaukee next. The Mets are home for six, with the NL East-leading Nationals in town next.
Braves: Backstops deal with injuries
Backup catcher David Ross could see more playing time in the final month of the season as Brian McCann deals with a sore right shoulder. McCann received a second cortisone injection in the shoulder Saturday.
But Ross is dealing with a sore muscle in his left side following an awkward swing in San Diego last week.
"I'll be all right," Ross said. "It's getting better every day."
McCann got the start Thursday, going 0-for-4 in the Braves' 1-0 win.
Mets: Little League teams to be honored
The Mets will host a pair of teams that reached the Little League World Series this weekend, with the first in town on Friday. The Fairfield American team from Fairfield, Conn., will be introduced, after representing New England in the LLWS. On Sunday, the Par Troy East team from Parsippany, N.J., from the Mid-Atlantic Region, will be on hand.
Including Friday, the Mets play 16 of their remaining 25 games at Citi Field.
The Mets have launched Kids Go Free for games at Citi Field in September. Up to three children 12 and under will get free admission with the purchase of one regularly-priced ticket, subject to availability for every September home game. Tickets can be bought by phone or in person, but all tickets must be picked up at Citi Field the day of the game, and children must be present.
The Braves' last two victories -- both coming against the Rockies -- were by a 1-0 margin, and both were won on unearned runs.