Atlanta, Ga—Game number eleven for the Mets began as a grudge match between Jacob deGrom and Mike Soroka. The latter taking the first head-to-head of the season. Implications this time, however, sees the Mets (3-7) trying to avoid a 4-game sweep to their division rival, the Braves (7-3). The duel began as expected with Soroka’s sinker forcing groundball after groundball, early. Not to be outdone, DeGrom started his night throwing high on 101 mph fastballs, 94 mph sliders, and 85 mph change-up. Using his off-speed pitch with two strikes almost religiously and successfully keeping the Braves’ batters guessing in the box.
Beginning of the third with no score, Soroka seemed to struggle with placement of his sinkers, and Mets’ hitters bolted to take advantage. Amed Rosario led off with a single, an error by Marcell Ozuna allowing Rosario to take third base with no outs. Brandon Nimmo walks, leading the way for the first run of the night on an RBI single from Michael Conforto for the third straight at-bat. Pete Alonso walked to load the bases and Robinson Cano made contact with the 5th pitch for a two-RBI base hit. NY took an early 3-0 lead. What followed after was bad news for Braves’ fans as Soroka fell getting hurt and ultimately carried off the field, not a good sign for Atlanta in that inning.
Chris Rusin came in for the injured Mike Soroka and retired the side with runners on the corners and only one out. The Mets’ Rosario walked off the field at the bottom of the third, no reports as to why he was replaced by rookie Andres Jimenez at shortstop. Once the young phenom exited with a non-contact injury, DeGrom continued to pitch with dominance. Would this be the night the Mets’ bats give DeGrom run support?
Almost on cue, NY hitters blew the game open to begin the 4th. Credit their disciplined at the plate, forcing long at-bats and eventually taking a 5-0 lead by the stick of Cano who knocked in two more RBI’s for the Mets.
Jeurys Familia came in to relieve DeGrom, who went 6 IP 10 Ks 2 Rs. A little bit more dramatic than Mets fans wished for, Familia escaped the inning after loading up the bases. Blowing another lead would be disastrous, given they just blew a six-run lead the game prior to these Braves. Could the bullpen hold up?
Mets’ fans could breathe a sigh of relief as NY ended the game with a 7-2 win by a dominant performance from DeGrom, a strong showing by the bullpen, and the NY hitters cracking wood continuously when they got men in scoring positions.
UPDATE: Cano and Rosario both left the game with undisclosed wounds adding insult to injury after the Yoenis Cespedes fiasco, who ghosted his team earlier today, ultimately opting out for the rest of the season. The win helps the squad have a feel-good moment before addressing these latest concerns.