Jacob deGrom vs the Braves? Julio Teheran vs the Mets?
I smell a pitcher’s duel.
The Mets took the field in Atlanta Saturday night, looking to build off their thrilling extra-innings victory the night before. Who would you rather have on the mound besides Jacob deGrom?
DeGrom was certainly up to the task. Unfortunately for the Mets, so was Julio Teheran.
Jose Reyes was starting at shortstop in place of Amed Rosario, who had multiple extra base hits the night before. They let Rosario play through his struggles, and as soon as he breaks out with a big night, he’s on the bench the next day. Classic Terry.
Jose Reyes who was hitless on the season, seemingly willed himself to get a hit by posting “Reyes will get a hit” over and over again on Twitter. Jose Reyes broke out of his season long slump with 3 base hits and stole a base.
The Mets had their first scoring opportunity in the 3rd inning, when Reyes notched his first aforementioned hit and stolen base. A Michael Conforto single moved Reyes to 3rd base with 1 out. Teheran struck out Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera to end the threat.
Jacob deGrom was brilliant, and the Braves didn’t have a legitimate scoring opportunity until the 6th inning. Ender Inciarte led off with a single and stole 2nd base. On the very next pitch, Inciarte took off for 3rd and was ruled safe. That would have set up a man on 3rd with 1 out situation. The Mets challenged however, and Inciarte was ruled to come off the bag, and the play was overturned. The Mets throw out another runner! DeGrom navigated through the rest of the inning easily, aside from a Freddie Freeman double, and the score remained tied at zero.
DeGrom worked through the 7th inning as well, and the Mets came to bat in the 8th inning, hoping to give their starter a much deserved win. DeGrom was fantastic tonight as his line score shows:
deGrom- 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K
Wilmer Flores led off with a walk, and Jose Reyes followed with his third hit of the night, this time on a bunt. Michael Conforto reached on an error, and the based were loaded for Yoenis Cespedes.
Cespedes had a disappointing night up to that point, and his fortunes wouldn’t change. He hit a fly ball that wasn’t hit deep enough for Flores to come home. Asdrubal Cabrera was next and it seemed inevitable that he would deliver. His RBI single drove home Flores and Reyes and the Mets had a 2-0 lead.
Jay Bruce drove home Conforto and the Mets extended the lead to 3-0. Then it was AJ Ramos time.
Ramos walked Ryan Flaherty. He bounced back to strike out Ender Inciarte, but then he walked Ozzie Albies. Jerry Blevins entered to face Freddie Freeman who he has awful numbers against. Freeman promptly laced a double driving home both runners. The Mets lead was now 3-2.
Blevins struck out Nick Markakis and was then relieved by Jeurys Familia. Familia struck out Preston Tucker and the inning was over.
You felt at this point that the Mets could really use some insurance runs in the top of the 9th.
They didn’t get any. However, if you have MLB At Bat notifications on, you might have received an alert that Yoenis Cespedes hit a 2 run home run. It turned out that it was a foul ball, and the Mets did not add any insurance runs. On to the bottom of the 9th.
Dansby Swanson led off with a walk on 4 pitches. Classic Familia. Johan Camargo was next and he hit a ball that just got by Asdrubal Cabrera. The thing is, the ball got to the outfield wall somehow and it turned into an RBI triple. No, really.
That led to a man on third with 1 out situation. The game was tied, deGrom could not win, and the Mets were hoping to get to extra innings somehow.
Familia inspired a little hope by striking out Charlie Culberson. Ender Inciarte was up next and laid down a bunt. Adrian Gonzalez couldn’t field it in time. Johan Camargo came home to score and the game was over. Braves win 4-3. Stomach punch.
The Mets bullpen spoiled a win for Jacob deGrom who was phenomenal.
This is who AJ Ramos is. Inconsistent. We know this from watching him close for Miami for a number of years. Jerry Blevins struggles continue as he has been awful this year.
There is absolutely no reason to play Jay Bruce in the outfield late in games. I refuse to believe that Camargo gets to 3rd base if Lagares is in the game. Does Mickey Callaway not trust the bullpen? Is he hoping to have his starters out there in case the other team ties the game? If not, why is Jay Bruce in the outfield while we’re trying to protect a late lead?
Conforto and Cespedes left 10 men on base. With a chance to break the game open in the 8th, can we maybe pinch hit for Jose Lobatòn?
Mets hope to leave Atlanta with a series split by winning the final game tomorrow. Steven Matz will get the start for the Mets against Michael Foltyniewicz for Atlanta.
Before the game, it was announced that Matt Harvey would be moving to the bullpen. He’ll be available starting Tuesday. Fireballer Gerson Bautista was sent back down to Las Vegas. Corey Oswalt was called up for some bullpen depth.