DeGrom dominates after arm scares, Mets and Braves split DH

Jun 21, 2021, 4:29 AM | Updated: 9:39 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom put Mets fans at ease with a bevy of triple-digit heaters.

Hopefully clear of the arm woes that interrupted his past two starts, the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is back to dominating hitters — and the record books.

DeGrom shouldered the load for New York in his return from another injury scare, pitching one-hit ball over five scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 Monday to open a doubleheader.

Braves closer Will Smith loaded the bases in the nightcap’s seventh inning but escaped for his 14th save in a 1-0 win. Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 20th homer, and Ian Anderson became the first native New Yorker to beat the Mets and Yankees in New York in the same season.

DeGrom didn’t allow a hit in the seven-inning opener until Mets outfielders misplayed a fly ball with two outs in the fifth, letting it fall for a ground-rule double. DeGrom threw 70 pitches, 15 of them over 100 mph, with two walks and six strikeouts.

“Felt good,” deGrom said. “I think that’s why we decided at that 70-pitch mark to say that was enough, didn’t want to overdo it.”

Jeff McNeil came off the injured list and singled as a pinch-hitter for deGrom (7-2) during New York’s three-run fifth inning. He scored on Dominic Smith’s three-run double.

Ozzie Albies hit a two-run homer off Seth Lugo in Game 1 for the Braves, who had won three of four but were playing their second doubleheader in two days — they also split that one, winning the nightcap against St. Louis 1-0 on a homer by Acuña.

Left-hander Kyle Muller (0-1) pitched one-hit ball over four innings in the opener, leaving with a 1-0 deficit in his first big league start.

“He threw the ball extremely well,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Had a good breaking ball, kept his composure, everything was really good.”

Mets closer Edwin Díaz finished a two-hitter in Game 1, pitching the seventh for his 15th save in 16 chances.

Mets sparkplug Jonathan Villar left the second game with right calf tightness after leading off the sixth with a double, one of several health-related setbacks for New York. Villar will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

DeGrom has thrown 30 consecutive scoreless innings, 2 2/3 shy of R.A. Dickey’s franchise mark set in 2012.

He topped Hall of Famer Bob Gibson’s record with his 12th consecutive start allowing no more than one run. His 0.50 ERA is the lowest by a pitcher through 12 starts in major league history. Opponents are hitting .113 against him, the lowest average against any pitcher in a 12-game span since at least 1901, with a minimum 70 innings.

Two days after his 33rd birthday, deGrom came out firing in his first start since his previous two outings were cut short by arm trouble. The right-hander was pulled after three perfect innings against the Cubs last Wednesday with shoulder soreness, and he left the outing prior to that June 11 against San Diego with flexor tendinitis in his right arm.

DeGrom has thrown 154 pitches at least 100 mph this season, most in baseball among starting pitchers — Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan was second entering Monday with 14.

“He’s on another level,” Snitker said.

NIGHTCAP RECAP

In the second game, Jerad Eickhoff gave New York four scoreless innings in his first big league appearance since June 16, 2019 with Philadelphia, but Miguel Castro (2-2) allowed Acuña’s leadoff shot in the fifth.

Anderson (5-3) pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out five. Raised in Clifton Park, the right-hander became the first native of the state to beat two New York teams in the Big Apple in a season since Philadelphia’s Jim Konstanty and Chicago’s Turk Lown both defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants in 1953.

“It’s always nice to come home and pitch, and I’ve had some good success doing it,” Anderson said.

Smith allowed two hits and a walk with one out in the seventh. Braves third baseman Austin Riley — who made two diving stops in the opener — nearly ended the late game when he dived to catch Kevin Pillar’s liner. Riley sprawled to touch third as Pete Alonso retreated to tag up. Umpires called Alonso out, but that ruling was overturned via replay review.

Brandon Drury popped up to second base for the final out.

The Mets have 13 runs in their last seven games. They threatened in the sixth but Jose Peraza and Francisco Lindor each got thrown out carelessly on the bases.

STICKING TO THE PLAN

DeGrom was the first pitcher inspected as part of Major League Baseball’s crackdown on foreign substances. He passed.

“Honestly, I didn’t mind it,” deGrom said. “It was quick and it went pretty easy.”

DO-IT-ALL ACUÑA

Acuña’s homer was measured at 115.7 mph. He also threw out Alonso at third base from right field in the second inning with a throw clocked at 97.3 mph.

“That throw was unbelievable,” Anderson said. “You almost come to expect it now. He can do it all. That home run was one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen.”

LEFT OUT

An MRI revealed that Mets left-hander Joey Lucchesi tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. New York is seeking a second opinion, but Tommy John surgery is a strong possibility.

Acting general manager Zack Scott said last week the Mets would seek upgrades via trade for their top-heavy rotation. Lucchesi’s loss could hasten that search. The 28-year-old was 1-4 with a 4.46 ERA but had a 1.19 ERA in his last five starts.

“It’s a big loss for us,” Rojas said. “A talented young kid that I think is just getting better every time he goes out there.”

Mets starters have a 2.63 ERA, best in the majors.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: McNeil hadn’t played since May 16 because of a left hamstring strain. He was 0 for 3 in Game 2. … C Tomás Nido was hit on the right wrist by a pitch in the opener and was replaced a half-inning later by James McCann. X-rays were negative. … RHP Robert Gsellman was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right lat strain. … RHP Jeurys Familia was added to the 10-day injured list between games with a right hip impingement. … LHP Stephen Tarpley was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse as New York’s 27th man for the twinbill.

Braves: Muller was Atlanta’s 27th man.

UP NEXT

Braves RHP Ian Anderson (4-3, 3.58) could become the first New Yorker to beat the Yankees and Mets in the same season when he starts the nightcap. Mets RHP Jerad Eickhoff will start for his first appearance this season.

___

Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot his side's opening goal...
Associated Press

After latest milestone, Ronaldo eyes World Cup glory

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Another game, another personal milestone. For all the turmoil that has surrounded Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of what is likely to be his final World Cup, the Portugal great continues make his mark. On Thursday he became the first man to score in five World Cups. Earlier this season he registered the […]
1 day ago
A fan of Argentina reacts after Argentina's Lionel Messi scores his side's opening goal against Mex...
Associated Press

Argentina riding emotional rollercoaster at World Cup

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — As Lionel Messi struggled to hold back his tears, Pablo Aimar let them flow on the bench. Covering his hands with his face, Argentina’s assistant coach, the former player who Messi idolized as a child, was almost hyperventilating with emotion after the goal that kept alive the Albiceleste’s World Cup journey. […]
1 day ago
Stanford head coach David Shaw stands near the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college f...
Associated Press

Stanford coach David Shaw resigns after Cardinal finish 3-9

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford coach David Shaw resigned Saturday night after finishing his 12th season at his alma mater with a 36-25 loss to BYU that dropped the Cardinal to 3-9. Shaw, 50, led Stanford to five double-digit win seasons, with three Pac-12 titles and Rose Bowl appearances in his first six years as […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Coleman leads Hawaii to 72-65 victory over Texas State

LAIE, Hawaii (AP) — Noel Coleman scored 21 points and Hawaii held off Texas State 72-65 in the North Shore Classic on Saturday night. Coleman sank 6 of 11 shots with two 3-pointers and made 7 of 9 foul shots for the Rainbow Warriors (5-1). Bernardo Da Silva pitched in with 14 points and seven […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Podziemski powers Santa Clara to 86-76 victory over Iona

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Brandin Podziemski finished with 27 points and nine rebounds to propel Santa Clara to an 86-76 victory over Iona in the Las Vegas Classic on Saturday night. Podziemski sank 7 of 13 shots, all three of his 3-pointers and 10 of 12 free throws for the Broncos (5-2). He added three […]
1 day ago
BYU tight end Isaac Rex (83) celebrates with teammates after scoring a 43-yard touchdown against St...
Associated Press

Shaw resigns as coach after Stanford’s 35-26 loss to BYU

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Jaren Hall threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score before leaving with an ankle injury to lead BYU to a 35-26 victory over Stanford on Saturday night, and Cardinal coach David Shaw announced his resignation after the game. After arriving unusually late for his postgame news conference, Shaw said […]
1 day ago
DeGrom dominates after arm scares, Mets and Braves split DH