The Mets (75-40) will look to continue asserting their division dominance as they head to Truist Park for four games with the Braves (70-46). The Mets took four of five from the Braves at Citi Field earlier this month, and two of three from them at Truist Park in July. Overall, they’ve won eight of twelve in the season series. The Mets are currently 5.5 games clear of the Braves in the NL East standings.
The Mets, who have not yet lost a series to an NL East opponent this season, continued that trend by taking two out of three from the Phillies over the weekend. On Friday, the offense was stagnant in a 2-1 defeat in extra innings. This game was a duel between Ranger Suárez, who allowed one run on three hits over seven innings, and Max Scherzer, who allowed one run on nine hits over seven frames. Philadelphia got their run in the first on an Alex Bohm single, while New York got theirs in the second on a Mark Canha sacrifice fly. The game remained tied into the tenth, when Bohm hit a sacrifice fly that scored Bryson Stott—on the play, Tomás Nido whiffed on catching Starling Marte’s laser beam throw from right. The Mets could not bring home the extra runner in the tenth.
Saturday’s game was an even better pitcher’s duel, and one that saw the Mets prevail 1-0. Jacob deGrom was predictably magnificent, striking out ten and allowing two hits over six shutout innings. It was the 55th double digit strikeout performance of his career, putting him five behind Seaver’s franchise mark, and the 107th time he’s allowed one earned run or fewer in 201 career outings. The Mets got their lone run off Aaron Nola on a Pete Alonso single in the first, and deGrom and the bullpen made it stand up. Seth Lugo, Trevor May, and Edwin Díaz each pitched scoreless innings, with the latter struggling for the first time in a while but getting the job done in the end.
The Mets used their second straight shutout to defeat the Phillies 6-0 on Sunday and secure a series victory. For the first time, the Mets actually knocked around Zack Wheeler, scoring six runs off their former pitcher in six innings. In the first, Lindor knocked in a run with a single, setting a new single-season standard for runs batted in by a Mets’ shortstop with 82. Chris Bassitt got into and out of trouble all afternoon but kept Philadelphia off the board over his five innings of work. Things looked to be trending towards another low-scoring affair, but the Mets broke it open in the fourth, as they plated four runs against Wheeler. Canha and Luis Guillorme each singled home a run, while James McCann’s hit brought in two, though Guillorme did have to exit with a groin injury. Daniel Vogelbach’s sixth inning homer made it 6-0, which is how the game would end.
The Braves have not lost a game since dropping four of five to New York. Since leaving Citi Field, they’ve swept the Red Sox in a two-game set and took all four from the Marlins over the weekend to keep pace with New York. They were able to shave 1.5 games off their deficit in that time.
Monday, August 15: Carlos Carrasco vs. Spencer Strider, 7:20 p.m. on SNY
Carrasco (2022): 124.1 IP, 123 K, 32 BB, 13 HR, 3.76 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, 1.8 bWAR
Carrasco was simply sensational in his last start against the Reds, and for a time it looked like he could pitch a complete game. However, he hit a wall in the seventh and wasn’t able to finish the inning. Still, he ended up tossing 6 2⁄3 innings while allowing two earned runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out nine, the most punch outs he’s recorded since striking out 10 back on June 6. It was his third straight quality start, and his seventh straight start allowing three runs or fewer. During that stretch, he owns a 1.69 ERA, a 2.84 FIP, and a 1.17 WHIP in 42.2 innings.
Strider (2022): 89.2 IP, 138 K, 34 BB, 5 HR, 3.11 ERA, 1.97 FIP, 1.05 WHIP, 2.2 bWAR
Strider struggled through his shortest start of the year against the Mets his last time out. Strider, who started out as a reliever earlier this year before permanently transitioning to the rotation on May 30, went just 2 2⁄3 innings against New York. He was tagged for four earned runs on six hits, with two walks and five strikeouts. The Mets wore him out with long at-bats from the jump, and it took its toll as the game progressed on a hot evening in New York City. It was a big change from his previous outing, when he went 6 1⁄3 innings and limited Philadelphia to one earned run on three hits while striking out a career-hit 13. In his previous outing against the Mets, New York was able to knock him out after 4 1⁄3 innings after drawing three walks and collecting five hits.
Tuesday, August 16: Taijuan Walker vs. Charlie Morton, 7:20 p.m. on SNY
Walker (2022): 110.1 IP, 85 K, 31 BB, 9 HR, 3.43 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 2.0 bWAR
Walker had a nice bounce back effort against Cincinnati. He went 6.0 innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits. He wasn’t quite at his sharpest, as he walked three batters while striking out five, but it was more than enough to get the win thanks to New York’s offense. More than anything, it was nice to see proof that he was healthy after appearing to hurt himself in his one run, eight run performance against Atlanta. He will look for better results this time around as he faces off with the Braves again.
Morton (2022): 122.2 IP, 141 K, 44 BB, 18 HR, 4.26 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 1.21 WHIP, 1.3 bWAR
Over his last few starts, Morton has been alternating between shutting out his opponent and allowing five runs, a trend which started against the Mets on July 13. In that outing, the Mets tagged him for five earned runs on six hit, with three walks and six strikeouts in 5.0 innings. He also allowed three home runs in that game. His last start against the Red Sox was similarly ineffective, as he was tattooed for five earned runs on six hits, with three home runs allowed over 6.0 innings. He has hit 14 batters this year, which leads the National League, while the Mets have had the most batters hit by a pitch this year.
Wednesday, August 17: Max Scherzer vs. Jake Odorizzi, 7:20 p.m. on SNY
Scherzer (2022): 102.2 IP, 126 K, 17 BB, 8 HR, 1.93 ERA, 2.40 FIP, 0.93 WHIP, 4.3 bWAR
Scherzer wasn’t quite his sharpest against Philadelphia, but he was still terrific. He limited the Phillies to one earned run over 7.0 innings. He did surrender nine hits and only struck out six, but he was able to get out of trouble all evening and keep the Mets in the game. Over his last two starts, he’s struck out 17 while not walking a batter. He’s been especially great against Atlanta since returning from the injured list. In two starts against the Braves, he’s gone 14.0 innings, allowed one earned run on seven hits, and struck out 20 while not issuing a single walk.
Odorizzi (2022): 68.2 IP, 52 K, 21 BB, 6 HR, 3.80 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 1.27 WHIP, 0.0 bWAR
Odorizzi made his Atlanta debut against the Mets back on August 6 in Game 1 of a doubleheader. In that outing, he went 4 2⁄3 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, with three walks and four strikeouts. Following that, he pitched against Miami on August 12 and gave up two earned runs on eight hits, with one walk and two strikeouts over 4.0 innings. With the recent injuries to their rotation, Odorizzi’s addition has helped tide the Braves over until they get some of their main guys back. Speaking of which, it was recently revealed that Mike Soroka would finally begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday. Soroka hasn’t pitched for the Braves since getting injured at Citi Field during the 2020 season.
Thursday, August 18: Jacob deGrom vs. TBD, 7:20 p.m. on SNY
deGrom (2022): 16.2 IP, 28 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 1.62 ERA, 0.72 FIP, 0.42 WHIP, 0.8 bWAR
What else is there to say about deGrom? The energy at Citi Field from his first pitch to his final pitch said it all. You can sense how much the Flushing Faithful have missed watching deGrom dominate just based off how electric they were for his past two starts. Against Philadelphia, he struck out 10 while scattering two hits over 6.0 innings. At one point after Hoskins’ first inning single, he sat down 16 straight Phillies batters before surrendering a hit to Stott. He reached 76 pitches for the second consecutive start, this time throwing 57 of them (75%) for strikes. He has shown that, when healthy, he is still, by far, the best pitcher in baseball.
The Braves have not yet named a starting pitcher for Thursday’s series finale against the Mets. Max Fried, who suffered a concussion after trying to make a play at Citi Field, landed on the concussion IL, and could conceivably return during this series. Kyle Wright, who is dealing with arm fatigue and was originally slated to go on Wednesday, could go Thursday if deemed well enough to pitch.
Prediction: The Mets and Braves split their four games in Atlanta.
How will the Mets fare in their four game series against the Braves?
This poll is closed
The Mets sweep away the Braves to bury them in the NL East!
The Mets take three of four to grow their division lead.
The Mets and Braves split their four games.
The Mets steal one in Atlanta, but drop three.
The Mets find themselves in a tighter race after getting swept in Truist Park.