Mets baseball the last few days has been wild, to say the least. The Mets lost five games in a row, being swept at home by the Red Sox and then dropping three in a row to Atlanta. They also had Yoenis Cespedes opt out, and the team released a statement that made everyone concerned for his well being for a few hours during a game. And when they announced that he had simply opted out and he was fine—after nine full innings of baseball came and went—the Mets then came under fire for seeming to either have released the initial statement to shame Cespedes or have absolutely no public relations tact.
It was under the cloud of all of this that the Mets played their game against the Braves tonight. Coming in, it didn’t look good. The Mets were just one game away from getting swept in two straight series, and this one by a division rival. Sure, they had Jacob deGrom on the mound, but they already had problems giving him run support. When you add on the Braves ace Mike Soroka pitching against them, fans were already writing off another Mets loss.
Jacob deGrom, as usual, threw a great game. For the first four innings, he was flying, giving up only two hits, allowing no runs, and striking out six. In the fifth inning though, deGrom found himself in trouble. He gave up a leadoff home run to former Met Travis d’Arnaud, He struck out the next two batters, but then he walked Ender Inciarte. And after a stolen base and a Ronald Acuna single, another run has crossed the plate. He got through that inning by striking out Albies, and many thought that was it for deGrom. But, ever the professional, deGrom came back out for the sixth, and other than a Marcell Ozuna single, he got through the inning clean, and got ten total strike outs on the night.
The Mets lineup, usually quiet for deGrom starts, broke out in a major way after being shutout the night before. They scored a total of seven runs, and only two came from the long ball, a Wilson Ramos home run in the fifth inning. The rest came from bunching up base hits, mostly in the third inning. Mike Soroka was struggling in that inning, and the Mets got three hits and two walks off of Soroka. He ended up leaving after giving up three runs, as he injured his leg after attempting to make a play in the field. After the game, it was reported that he tore his right achilles tendon and would be out for the rest of the season.
The Mets bullpen locked it down for deGrom, keeping the Braves from scoring in the last three innings. Familia came in in the seventh inning, and after striking Dansby Swanson out, he struggled, giving up a single, a double, and a walk to load the bases. He struck out Ozzie Albies, then Justin Wilson was brought in and made quick work of Freddie Freeman, forcing him to ground out to Pete Alonso. Jared Hughes was brought in for the final two innings, and other than giving up a walk in each inning, he got through them clean, and the Mets picked up a much needed win and deGrom finally got to add a win to his record this season.
Notably, the Braves weren’t the only ones with injury issues tonight. Jeff McNeil was scratched right before the game started with lower back tightness, and Amed Rosario and Robinson Cano were both pulled during the game due to injury concerns. Amed felt left quad tightness, and Cano felt left groin tightness. Luis Rojas mentioned that it may have been partially caused by the hot weather in Atlanta. Hopefully they won’t be out for very long, as all three are some of the best hitters on the team at the moment.
Hopefully the Mets can keep this momentum going. They’re playing the Nationals in Washington tomorrow night, and they need to make up some of the ground they lost during their five game losing streak this week. And there’s no better way to do that then beat a divisional rival on their own turf.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Jacob deGrom, +18.0% WPA
Big Mets loser: J.D. Davis, -7.4% WPA
Mets pitchers: +22.8% WPA
Mets hitters: +27.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto’s one-run single in the top of the third, +10.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Ender Inciarte’s double in the bottom of the seventh, -4.2% WPA