Friday, August 23, 2019

DeGrom Dominates, But Mets Fall Short In Marathon With Braves

Jacob deGrom on the mound for the Mets. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets lost a heartbreaker to the Atlanta Braves, 2-1, in 14 innings at Citi Field on Friday night, as they were not able to get a win on a night when Jacob deGrom dominated.

deGrom put on quite a show,  as he was masterful on the mound with 13 strikeouts, and at the plate, when he hit a solo home run.
deGrom is now the first pitcher in the Modern Era (since 1900) to have a home run and 13 strikeouts in a game twice in a season. The first time he did it this season was on April 3 at Miami.
After retiring Atlanta in order in the top of the first, deGrom allowed singles to Josh Donaldson and Rafael Ortega in the second, and got our of it by getting a fly ball to center from Alex Jackson.
When deGrom struck out Freddie Freeman to end the third, he started a streak in which he notched eight straight strikeouts.
The run was snapped when Ozzie Albies singled, and the then stole second and scored on a single from Freeman to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead at the time.
Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said of deGrom's stuff during that run of strikeouts, "It was just making every pitch, on the corner, executing every single pitch, you know, that's fun to watch when they punch out eight in a row, it was fantastic.  It's just, at the bottom of the knees, to the corner, and every pitch in that eight hitters was executed perfectly, it seemed like."
Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz, who had "High Foltage" as his nickname on the back of his Players' Weekend jersey, stifled the Mets through the first five innings. He allowed just a double to Luis Guillorme in the second and a walk to J.D. Davis in the fifth.
That all changed with the first pitch he threw to open the sixth inning, which deGrom took the other way, just clearing the fence in left, to tie the game at 1.
deGrom, who did not have a nickname on his jersey, retired the Braves in order in the top of the seventh, and Foltynewicz worked around a walk to Guillorme to pitch a scoreless bottom half of the frame.
Both pitchers were done after that, posting impressive lines: deGrom: 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 13 strikeouts, 107 pitches (78 strikes); Foltynewicz: 7 innings, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts.
Seth Lugo relieved deGrom, and he worked around a pair of walks to pitch a scoreless eighth, and after Shane Greene retired the Mets in order in the eighth, Lugo pitched a perfect ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, with Chris Martin in for Atlanta, the Mets got a break when Pete Alonso hit one to Adeiny Hechavarria (who joined Atlanta last week after the Mets released him) and it went under his glove as he went to his right.
The Mets could not take advantage as Michael Conforto hit into a double play started by Hechavarria.
Edwin Diaz came on for the Mets in the top of the tenth, and he opened the inning by hitting Alex Jackson with a pinch. He was pinch-run for by Billy Hamilton, who was bunted over to second by Charlie Culberson before stealing third base.
Diaz recovered to strike out the top two hitters in Atlanta's order, Ronald Acuna, Jr., and Albies, to get out of it.
Ex-Met Anthony Swarzak came on for Atlanta in the bottom of the tenth, and after getting the first two outs, he allowed singles to Juan Lagares and Wilson Ramos, followed by a walk to Todd Frazier. Amed Rosario struck out to end the threat.
In the 11th, Luis Avilan won quite a battle with Freeman by striking him out, and then Brad Brach got the final two outs of the inning.
The Mets had a great chance in the bottom of the 11th against Sean Newcomb, as Joe Panik was hit by a pitch and took second on a wild pitch.
When Alonso was struck out and the ball got away up the first base line, Alonso waved at Panik to go take third, which he did.
Newcomb recovered to strike out Conforto and got pinch-hitter Aaron Atherr to ground out.
Paul Sewald pitched a perfect top of the 12th, and Justin Wilson worked around a lead-off single by Acuna to get through the 13th.
Luke Jackson shut the Mets down in the 12th and 13th innings, allowing just a single to Ramos in the 12th.
Jeurys Familia came on for the 14th, and he walked Tyler Flowers to open the frame before allowing a hit up the gap in right to Hechavarria.
At first, it appeared that Hechavarria had a run-scoring triple, but Callaway came out to ask the umpires to review it, claiming the ball got caught in the padding before Conforto could get to it.
That is exactly what happened, and the umpires sent Flowers back to third and gave Hechavarria a ground-rule double.
Familia struck out Ortega for the first out of the inning, and then, with the Mets' infield drawn in, Hamilton single past Panik to score Flowers and make it 2-1 Braves.
Max Fried, a Braves starting pitcher, pinch-hit for Jackson, and he struck out.
Acuna, Jr. then singled to load the bases, and Familia recovered to strike out Albies.
That gave the Mets' pitching staff 26 strikeouts on the night, tying the Major League record. They are the fifth team to hit that number.
Mark Melancon closed out the Mets in order in the bottom of the 14th to seal the win.

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