A great outing from Sean Newcomb and a late-game power surge from the bats allowed the Braves to pick up a comfortable 7-0 win against the Mets and slide into first place here in the beginning of May.
As I pointed out in the preview for tonight’s game, if Sean Newcomb was able to avoid handing out walks at a high rate, then there was a strong chance that we were going to have a pitcher’s duel this evening. Sure enough, Newcomb was on top of his game tonight and truly had the good stuff going. Meanwhile, Jacob deGrom showed every sign of being in the same vein of form that had been in to start this season, which meant that the Braves were likely in for a long night at the plate and were going to have to make every single opportunity count.
Unfortunately for New York, deGrom shockingly exited the game after the top of the fourth inning due to a hyperextended left elbow, which probably came after his final plate appearance in the bottom of the third inning. Just like that, Mets long reliever Paul Sewald had to enter the game and the Braves were into New York’s bullpen in the middle of the game.
The Mets wouldn’t see Atlanta’s bullpen until the eighth inning and that’s because Sean Newcomb was absolutely on it tonight. Newcomb gave up a double in the first inning and a single in the second inning. That would be the full extent of offense that the Mets would have for the entire night, as Sean Newcomb completely stymied the Mets and topped that excellent performance back in April on the road in Colorado.
When Sean Newcomb exited the game, his line was seven innings pitched, two hits allowed, eight strikeouts and — wait for it — just one walk. The Braves needed him to be great in order to keep up with what was likely going to be a long stint from deGrom as well and while that didn’t come to fruition for the Mets, it certainly did for the Braves.
Newcomb also exited the game with a three-run lead because the Braves eventually got their offense going in the late stages of the game. In fact, it was Newcomb himself who sparked a rally in the top of the seventh. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s first run of the game came in the sixth inning after Freddie Freeman got real fortunate and saw a blooper fall in between three Mets in left field, which allowed Ender Inciarte to score.
Sean Newcomb hit for himself in the top of the seventh and you figured that he was just going to take his three swings and head back to the dugout — especially with two outs already on the board. Instead, he got a hold of one from Sewald and nearly put it into the seats. He had to settle for a double and Ender Inciarte proceeded to show him how hitting home runs is done. Ender’s fly ball floated over the fence in right field and the Braves now had a 3-0 lead.
The eighth inning ended up being the breakout inning for the Braves. Robert Gsellman entered the game for the Mets and while he got the first out with no problem, the second out would be difficult to acquire. Freddie Freeman poked a single out to right and then Nick Markakis continued his good start to the season by hitting a gapper that was deep enough to score Freeman from first-to-home to make it 4-0.
Johan Camargo came up to the plate later on in the frame. He entered the game as an injury substitution after Dansby Swanson exited the game due to a sore left wrist and he loudly made his presence felt by hitting a fly ball that would have been a gapper if not for squeaking over the fence in left field for a two-run homer to make it 6-0 Braves.
This led to Ryan Flaherty coming up to the plate and hitting a long one that bounced off of the container holding the Mets home run apple for a dinger to make it 7-0 and that would end up being the final score.
The Braves may have caught a break due to Jacob deGrom’s unfortunate injury but this was still a solid win for Atlanta. The offense stepped up in a huge way and Sean Newcomb had his best outing of the season so far. Atlanta now has yet another series victory under their belts and are now in first place here in May.
Now it’s time to see if they can pick up what would be a huge sweep of their divisional rivals on the road and with the way they’ve played so far, would you really bet against them?