Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Mets 8, Braves 3
By Kieran Darcy
NEW YORK -- You could call this one an upset.
Facing All-Star Julio Teheran, who entered the game with a 2.29 ERA, the New York Mets erupted for five runs in the first three innings, en route to an 8-3 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.
That was more than enough for Mets starter Jacob deGrom, who was outstanding and notched his second major league win.
The fourth-place Mets (41-49) have taken the first two games of this four-game series, and are now just eight games behind the first-place Braves (49-41) in the National League East.
Instant offense: The Mets got on the board as quickly as possible, courtesy of Curtis Granderson's third leadoff home run of the season. Granderson creamed the second pitch of the evening from Teheran off the Pepsi Porch sign separating the upper and lower decks in right field. It was Granderson's team-leading 14th homer of the season.
New York tallied three more runs in the second inning. DeGrom and Granderson singled, and both scored on Daniel Murphy's two-out RBI double. Murphy then came home on a single by David Wright.
Travis d'Arnaud led off the third inning with a single, and eventually came around on a two-out RBI single by Eric Young Jr. Every Met in the starting lineup had at least one hit by the end of the third.
Teheran was yanked with one out in the fourth, following a Wright single and a Lucas Duda walk, equaling his shortest outing of the season.
The Mets tacked on three more runs off the Braves' bullpen, thanks to RBI doubles by Duda (in the sixth inning) and pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis (in the seventh), and an RBI single by Juan Lagares (in the eighth). They pounded out a season-high 18 hits on the night. Duda was 3-for-3 with two walks.
Better than ever? DeGrom pitched arguably his best game yet. The 26-year-old rookie tied career highs in innings pitched (seven) and strikeouts (11), did not give up a run, did not walk a batter and scattered seven hits.
He improved his record to 2-5, and dropped his ERA to 3.38. Entering the game, deGrom had received the least run support of any Mets pitcher with at least five starts this season.
Only two other pitchers in franchise history have had a pair of 11-strikeout performances in their first 11 major league outings: Nolan Ryan and Dwight Gooden (according to ESPN Stats & Info).
The Braves scored a run in the eighth inning off the combination of Buddy Carlyle and Dana Eveland, and two more in the ninth off Eveland and Jeurys Familia.
A milestone: This was the Mets' 4,000th win in franchise history (compared with 4,374 losses). Unfortunately a paltry crowd, announced at 20,671, witnessed it.
What's next: The third game of this four-game series. Dillon Gee (3-1, 2.73 ERA) comes off the disabled list and makes his first start in nearly two months for the Mets, opposed by fellow righty Ervin Santana (7-5, 3.93), with first pitch again scheduled for 7:10 p.m.