Mets drop a heartbreaker in Atlanta and maybe Jacob deGrom isn't an alien after all
deGrom suffers his first loss in 16 months as New York prepares for another big divisional series
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets dropped a heart breaker in Atlanta Thursday night, falling to the Braves 3-2 (Box)
Jacob deGrom was charged with three runs in 6.2 innings—suffering his first loss since April 28, 2021
The Mets had a shot to tie the game in the ninth inning with Francisco Lindor on first and Pete Alonso at the plate - Alonso popped a fly ball into right field which got down, but Lindor - who had run on the pitch - retreated back to first base and was forced out at second base
Mark Canha took Max Fried deep for his 8th home run of the season in the fifth inning which at the time tied the game at two.
Seth Lugo took over for deGrom with the game tied with two outs and a runner on in the 7th and surrendered a softly hit seeing eye double to Michael Harris that gave the Braves the lead
Brett Baty singled off Fried in the 2nd for his second big league hit
Mychal Givens gave the Mets his best outing since coming over at the deadline, striking out the side in the bottom of the eighth inning
New York interestingly sent all of Chris Bassitt, David Peterson, and Trevor Williams ahead of the team in preparation for their starts over the weekend in Philadelphia
The Mets are now 9-7 against the Braves this season, 36-24 on the road, 12-6 in August, 14-4-1 in road series, 27-7-3 in series overall, 4-36 when trailing after eight innings, 40-18 against the National League East, 58-19 when they hit at least one home run, and 51-12 when allowing three or fewer runs
Roster Moves 📰
Claimed IF Yolmer Sánchez off waivers from Boston
Patrick Mazeika designated for assignment
Injury Updates 🏥
Taijuan Walker (bulging disc in his back) may make his scheduled start on Sunday if he is feeling 100 percent
Who’s Hot 🔥
Mark Canha went 5-for-11 in the series in Atlanta with four doubles, a home run, and 3 RBI
Francisco Lindor went 5-for-16 with a home run and an RBI in the series against the Braves
Jeff McNeil is hitting .476/.522/.667 with four doubles over his last six games
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 76-43 and lead the Braves by 3.5 games in the National League East with 43 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 the third-easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.463 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 83.5 percent ⬇️
Clinch a first round bye: 83.3 percent ⬇️
Win the World Series: 16.7 percent ⬇️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (76-43) at Phillies (65-52)
Where: Citizens Bank Park — Philadelphia, PA
Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (10-7, 3.27 ERA) vs RHP Aaron Nola (8-9, 3.07 ERA)
When: 7:20 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Jacob deGrom isn’t an alien—but he’s still pretty damn good📝
Chris Bassitt’s quote the other day referring to fellow righty Jacob deGrom as an alien was meant to draw a laugh but it didn’t seem that far fetched. There’s simply no better pitcher on the planet than the Mets’ ace, who’s arsenal to get Major League hitters out is second to none.
But as Thursday night in Atlanta proved, it turns out he actually can actually be human.
Starting against Atlanta for the second time in 11 days, deGrom was not nearly as dominant as he was the first time. After cruising through the first two frames stress free, he surrendered back to back two out RBI hits to Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley in the third inning thanks to the command of his slider temporarily eluding him.
As we’ve seen him do so many times before, deGrom was then able to self correct and right himself in the middle innings, retiring the next 12 hitters before Vaughn Grissom reached on a well placed infield single off the glove off Brett Baty in the seventh inning.
With his ace at 95 pitches and still building his full pitch count up in just his fourth start back, manager Buck Showalter decided to pull the plug and summon Seth Lugo from the bullpen.
Lugo was greeted rudely by Michael Harris, who rolled a slow ground ball through the shift on a full count pitch. Grissom never stopped coming around the bases and was narrowly able to beat the Mets’ relay to the plate. The run put deGrom on the hook on the short end of a 3-2 score, which had to frustrate him particularly since he wasn’t even the one to give it up.
deGrom ultimately was tagged with the loss—his first since last April. But if this was a bad deGrom start, that’s saying something.
His final line was 6.2 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 9 K
Surrendering only five baserunners in 6.2 innings is a 0.75 WHIP. Which actually increased his season WHIP to 0.51. For reference, the Dodgers Tony Gonsolin leads qualified pitchers this season with a mark of 0.86.
In the end, my biggest takeaway from this game—aside from being frustrated with the loss—was deGrom’s ability to self correct his mechanical flaws on the fly, and find a way to dominate without his best stuff. This ability has always been his calling card, and is the reason he’s become the best pitcher in the league over the last half dozen seasons.
At the end of the day, while deGrom may not be an alien, he’s still without question the best human pitcher on the planet. And the Mets are fortunate to have him back healthy and helping to lead their pennant push down the stretch.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 3 Prospect, Double-A): 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2B
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 Prospect, Single-A): 2-for-5, RBI, 2B
Dominic Smith (1B, Triple-A): 2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI
Around the League 🚩
Albert Pujols hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the Cardinals 13-0 thumping of the Rockies—the 690th home run of his career
The Astros demolished Lucas Giolito and the White Sox 21-5
Milwaukee got two homers from Andrew McCutchen to help beat the Dodgers 5-3
Former future Met Willson Contreras crushed a pair of long balls as Chicago bested Baltimore 3-2
Tampa Bay topped Kansas City 7-1 to get a big win in the AL Wild Card race
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered and drove in three as the Jays took out the Yankees 9-2 in the Bronx