The uncharacteristic part of deGrom’s outing was the first inning. Coming into Thursday, he had retired 37 straight batters in the first inning of his starts and allowed just one hit in the first inning all season. No one told the Braves as they popped the Cy Young favorite for three runs in the first frame.
Ehire Adrianza started the bottom of the first with a triple, and with one down, Ozzie Albies tied the game with a single. Austin Riley notched his 14th homer of the season for a 3-1 Atlanta lead that actually put deGrom’s ERA over 1.
The first two Braves got hits in the second inning as well to put runners on the corners. But from there on out, it was vintage deGrom. He struck out three in a row to end the inning and didn’t allow another baserunner the rest of the game. When all was said and done, he struck out 14 through seven innings, but the Mets never led.
Dominic Smith homered twice, and his second blast tied the game in the top of the ninth. The Braves won the game when Freddie Freeman singled with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. The win moves the Braves to within 3.5 games of the Mets in the NL East as they took the series 2-1.
DeGrom is a heavy favorite to win another NL Cy Young award as the All-Star break approaches. He is listed at -450, with Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff next at +1000.
Ohtani, Tatis Headline All-Star Starters
Speaking of the All-Star game, MLB announced the starters for the Midsummer Classic on Thursday night. The 2021 All-Star game was moved from Atlanta to Denver and will be played at Coors Field on Tuesday, July 13. Last week MLB announced three finalists at each position, and the winners of the fan vote were released on ESPN Thursday night.
Fernando Tatis Jr. received the most votes in the National League and will make his ASG debut as a starter at shortstop. Mike Trout got the most votes in the American League but won’t be able to play in his ninth All-Star Game as he is currently on the 60-day injured list and won’t be ready to return in time.
His Angels teammate Shohei Ohtani won the vote to start as the AL designated hitter, and who knows, maybe he will pitch in Denver as well. Ohtani will also participate in the Home Run Derby at Coors Field.
Other National League starters include third baseman Nolan Arenado returning to the place he called home until an off-season trade to St. Louis. He and Tatis will be joined on the infield by Freeman and Adam Frazier, with Buster Posey behind the plate. Cincinnati teammates Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker will take the corner outfield spots next to Ronald Acuna Jr.
The AL features Salvador Perez behind the plate with phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base. Boston teammates Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are on the left side of the infield, with Marcus Simien at second base. Aaron Judge and Teoscar Hernandez are the other two outfielders, while Trout will be replaced with a bench player.