Jacob deGrom makes his triumphant return to Citi Field as Mets take four out of five from Braves
Jacob deGrom was brilliant in his return to Citi Field in over a year.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
Behind RHP Jacob deGrom’s electric return, the Mets defeated the Braves 5-2 to win four of five in a crucial series against their rivals (box)
This is the first time the Mets won four games in the same series against the Braves since they swept them in Atlanta in 2015
In his return to Citi Field for the first time in over a year, he was perfect through 5.2 innings before allowing a walk and a two-run home run to Dansby Swanson - he struck out 12 batters on 76 pitches
deGrom struck out every batter in the Atlanta lineup and twelve strikeouts are the most by a Mets starter this season
This is first time Mets starters picked up at least ten strikeouts in back-to-back games since LHP David Peterson and deGrom did it in April 2021
LHP Joely Rodriguez saved a depleted bullpen and pitched 2.1 innings and struck out a career high four batters
RHP Edwin Díaz struck out the side and picked up his twenty-sixth save of the season
CF Brandon Nimmo went 3-for-5 and a run scored at the top of the lineup. This was his eighth game this season where he had at least three hits in a game
Mark Canha snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a big two-run hit as part of a four-run third inning for the Mets
The Mets are now 35-18 at home, 6-2 in August, 54-11 when scoring first, 37-14 against the NL East, 8-4 against the Braves, 51-5 when scoring five or more runs, a perfect 61-0 when leading after eight innings, and 31-22 against teams over .500
Who’s Hot 🔥
Francisco Lindor picked up another two hits and scored a run. Over his last fifteen games he is hitting .429/.500/.679 with three home runs and eleven RBIs
Pete Alonso struck again and put the Mets on the board with a double in the fourth. He is hitting .393/.485/.768 with five home runs and seventeen RBIs over his past fifteen games. He had all four game-winning RBI in the club’s series against the Braves
Jeff McNeil now has a ten-game hitting streak, the third time in his career he has had a hit streak of ten games or more. He is hitting .409/.422/.682 with six doubles, seven runs scored, two home runs and six RBI during that span
Edwin Díaz remains automatic when he enters to close the game. He struck out all three batters he faced and is striking out batters a rate of 18.07 per nine innings - he has fanned 52.9 percent of the batters he’s faced this season
Roster Moves 📰
RHP Yoan López returned to Triple-A Syracuse following Saturday’s doubleheader
Injury Updates 🏥
Dominic Smith (sprained ankle) went 3-for-5 with a RBI as the DH for Triple-A Syracuse
LHP Joey Lucchesi (recovery from Tommy John Surgery) could be an option for the Mets pitching staff in September, assuming he continues on the path he’s on, per Mets manager Buck Showalter
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 70-39 and lead the Braves by 6.5 games in the National League East with 53 games to go. They are on-pace for 104 wins, which would be the second-highest mark in franchise history (108 in 1986)
The Mets have seven games remaining against the Braves in 2022, including a three-game series at Citi Field to conclude the regular season
The Mets have seven games remaining with the Phillies - they will not play each other after August 21
The Mets have the sixth-easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.478 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon):
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 91.9 percent ⬆️
Clinch first-round bye: 99.7 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 17.1 percent ⬆️
All about that Jake… ⚡️
The twelve strikeouts helped propel Jacob deGrom to history. He now has 1,519 career punch outs which puts him ahead of RHP Yu Darvish for the most strikeouts through their first 200 games
deGrom’s 5.2 IP of perfect baseball was the longest perfect game bid of his career
It was the 54th time in his career deGrom has struck out ten or more batters, the third-most since 2014. He has 19 games with 12 or more strikeouts, the fourth-most since 2014
He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in all of his last 21 home starts, tying a major league record (Andrew Cashner, 2013-2015)
52 consecutive starts with four or fewer runs allowed and eight or fewer hits allowed (last: 5/22/19), the second longest such streak in MLB history (Rich Hill, 59 games from 5/4/19-5/25/22)
His 90 percent swing-and-miss rate on his slider is the highest such rate against any one pitch (courtesy of Sarah Langs, MLB) - the Braves swung-and-missed at deGrom’s first 18 sliders
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (70-39) vs Reds (44-63)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (8-7, 3.61 ERA) vs RHP Justin Dunn (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The Sunshine Superman Returns📝
Every Mets fan by now is intimately familiar with the roller coaster ride of the 2015 season. Yoenis Cespedes and Wilmer Flores became the main characters in the Mets fairy tale run to the playoffs after that memorable week at the end of July. While it was quite the joy ride for fans it was still a tad bittersweet since they were without their beloved Captain who had stuck with the team through all of the hard times but now was absent from the excitement that surrounded the team every night.
Finally it all changed when David Wright made his long awaited return with a bang on August 24 at Citizens Bank Park. He hit a massive home run in his first at bat to help propel the Mets to win a thriller over the Phillies. What gets forgotten in Mets lore is his good friend was on the mound that night and pitching poorly. Jacob deGrom was battling food poisoning and did not last very long in what became a memorable night for the team.
Fast forward to 2022.
Their Captain America is now gone and so too was their Sunshine Superman. The Mets once again are enjoying a memorable season while missing one of their vital pieces. Sure, Jacob deGrom’s season debut was in Washington but his return to Citi Field was really the return fans were waiting for.
From the first notes of “Simple Man” blaring from the Citi Field speakers, deGrom let the team, the fans, the Braves, and the league know that the king had truly returned. Even with Max Scherzer now on the team and dominating like the mad man he is, deGrom showed no mercy in retaking his rightful spot on the top of the throne…err…mound.
He was perfect through five utterly dominant innings, the longest of his career. Professional major league batters had no chance against his devastating slider, which he was spotting perfectly on the outside corner at 93-95(!!!) mph. He cut through the Braves lineup with the same ease he did against 18-year-olds on the Palm Beach Cardinals. The first time a batter was even able to foul off a slider was in the sixth inning.
The crowd responded to the greatness that was on display before them. Hushed awe overcame the crowd before he unleashed his next weapon against another hapless batter.
Then the roar would follow.
The Mets are good. They’re really good. They made a statement against the Braves in Atlanta two weeks ago, and put their foot down on Atlanta this past weekend. They demonstrated they are among the best teams in baseball between performances against the Dodgers, Yankees and now reigning World Champion Braves.
And now, their superhero is back. That was a winning combination in 2015 so we can only hope history can repeat itself but this time with a happier ending.
Sure, this team still has flaws and it remains to be seen if the front office did enough at the deadline to compete with those juggernauts out west come October. But with a successful weekend against the Braves that ended with the return of the best pitcher in baseball, there is hope and joy for the citizens of Metsville.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Gosuke Katoh (2B, Triple-A): 3-for-6, RBI, 3 runs
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 Prospect, Double-A): 2-for-3, 3 RBIs, 2 runs
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 3 Prospect, Double-A): 1-for-5, HR
Around the League 🚩
The Phillies once again blew out the lowly Nationals by a score of 13-0 to move ahead of the Padres in the Wild Card standings - they’re 38-19 since June 1
Before Sunday’s game, the Braves optioned 2021 World Series standout Ian Anderson to Triple-A Gwinnett
RHP Triston McKenzie threw eight shutout innings as the Guardians blanked the Astros 1-0
OF Jesse Winker hit a grand slam as the Mariners beat the Angels 6-4
The Giants won the Bay Bridge Series with a 6-4 win in Oakland
The Dodgers finished off a sweep of the Padres with a 4-0 shutout at Dodger Stadium to win their eighth straight game
Fernando Tatís, Jr. is expected to return to the Padres in mid-August
The Yankees were swept by the Cardinals and have now lost five straight as RHP Frankie Montas struggled in his debut with his new team
Twins OF Alex Kirilloff will undergo season-ending wrist surgery for the second time in two years