The post-Cespedes 2020 season got off to a good start, as the Mets used a rare offensive outburst behind Jacob deGrom to defeat the Braves, 7-2, and avoid a sweep of the four-game series. The Mets have played seven games against the Braves so far, going 2-0 in deGrom starts and 0-5 in the others.

The Mets put up a four-spot in the third inning, providing deGrom with more support in one inning than he received in the previous two games combined. Michael Conforto had a two-run hit and Robinson Cano and Wilson Ramos each had RBIs in the inning.

Cano, who finished with two hits and a walk, delivered another RBI in the fourth inning and Ramos hit a two-run homer to right center in the fifth.

deGrom cruised through the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth with a seven-run lead. Last time out, deGrom got in trouble with his changeup. This time around it was the slider, as he hung one to old batterymate Travis d’Arnaud, who hit it for a homer. The last two homers given up by deGrom came to former teammates, as Wilmer Flores was the last one to take him deep.

Also in the fifth, deGrom threw three straight sliders to Ronald Acuna, with the third one turning into an RBI. After a high-stress inning in the fifth, deGrom came back for the sixth and finished with a flourish, striking out d’Arnaud with his 104th pitch of the game. He finished with 1 BB and 10 Ks in 6 IP.

Jeurys Familia replaced deGrom in the 7th and loaded the bases. But he whiffed Ozzie Albies before Justin Wilson came on to retire Freddie Freeman on a grounder to end the inning. Jared Hughes came on to pitch the final two innings. The Mets head to Washington with a rested Seth Lugo and a gently-used Wilson.

The only black mark on the day was that three players were injured. Jeff McNeil was scratched right before the start of the game with back tightness, while Amed Rosario (quad) and Cano (groin) left the game early. But none of those injuries appear to be as serious as what happened to Braves ace Mike Soroka, who went to cover first base on a grounder and never made it, coming down with a lower leg injury. He had to be helped off the field.

The injuries call into question how the Mets will go without Cespedes. The original lineup had McNeil in LF but that was mainly because J.D. Davis was battling stomach problems. Will McNeil move to the outfield, with Andres Gimenez taking over third base? That’s one of many options available to Luis Rojas going forward.

10 comments on “Gut Reaction: Mets 7, Braves 2 (8/3/20)

  • TJ

    You gotta win when the Big Dog throws, and you gotta score when the big dog throws, so kudos.

    That was a big hit the Braves took last night, that kid is really good.

    Why dies it seem like baseball players have a 50% chance of injury whenever they run hard. Why doesn’t this happen to guys in the NBA as frequently?

  • Metsense

    Gut Reaction: deGromintor! He is a joy to watch.
    The Cano injury will hurt the team because he was having a great season and was providing unexpected offense. McNeill’s injury is a blow for the Mets because he their best offensive player.
    Wilson saved the day and Hughes completed it efficiently.

  • Joe Vasile

    I saw a comment on Twitter (I forget who made it) but I definitely agree: We are approaching historical levels of peak dominance for Jacob deGrom. As Mets fans we get to see one of the best pitchers of all time take the ball every fifth day. What a treat.

    • Rob

      I am seeing a Kershaw type run. Stinks he got a late start.

    • Brian Joura

      And we’re witnessing greatness and simply not appreciating it to anything close that it deserves. Here’s what I wrote 10 days ago:

      “There are many, many reasons why the delay of the 2020 season stinks. But missing out on 20 or so starts from peak deGrom should be near the top of the list.”

      I feel like Mets fans appreciated Gooden in the moment more than they do deGrom. They certainly appreciated Alonso more last year. And maybe that’s the thing. We’re used to seeing really good pitching performances so that when we see a transcendent one it just doesn’t wow us. What an incredible shame.

      • TJ

        Brian,
        It’s hard to evaluate the collective group of Met fans, but I can speak for one. DeGrom is having the best run I have ever witnessed from a Met pitcher. It am too young to have seen early Seaver, but I saw mid 70s Seaver and Doc from day 1. And as we all know, starting pitching is quite different now than it was, so I have no way of discounting for the current trend of incomplete games and Uber high K rates. But, when the ball is in his hand and a batter steps in the box, h is the filthiest I’ve seen. Wilmer and D’Arnaud know this, so just go up and look for a mistake. Every 15-20 pitches you may actually get something to hit hard. The guy combines power, pitching IQ, and guts. He is a pleasure to watch.

        • Brian Joura

          I base my evaluation mainly on two things.

          1. We have a nightly Game Chatter where normally 6-8 people drop in at various points of the game. Last night I was pulling a solo until about the fifth inning and only 3 people total showed up. I’d just expect that we’d have more people show up for a deGrom start, not fewer.

          2. Articles about Jake have both fewer comments and fewer overall reads than articles about other players. Not sure why more people will read a piece about Jake Marisnick than Jacob deGrom but they do.

          I honestly don’t get it.

          • TJ

            That’s fair.

            I was actually in the chat but got pulled away by other tasks.

            I think the deGrom comments are similar to Met/Yankee sports radio. More Yankee fans but more Met calls…human nature to react mor to bad than good. Jake is just too good to comment on. Lol.

  • MattyMets

    Didn’t think it was possible, but deGrom looks even better this year. He seems to have found an extra tick on his fastball and slider and has really moved from a 3-pitch to a 5-pitch repertoire with more curveballs and two seamers. And his changeup has become a real weapon. It has so much movement the announcers sometimes can’t distinguish it from his slider.

  • Chris F

    You had me sold at Gimenez taking over 3B!

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