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SportsBaseballMets

Jacob deGrom dominates again and gets no support again in Mets loss to Braves

Mets don’t get first hit until the seventh inning and manage only two for the game as offenseive woes continue.

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom throws against the Braves

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom throws against the Braves during the first inning on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Atlanta. Photo Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP / Curtis Compton

ATLANTA — If you’re looking for bright spots in the Mets’ 2-0 loss to the Braves Wednesday, at least they avoided getting no-hit.

But they did waste another sparkling start from Jacob deGrom, wait until the seventh to get their first hit and strand the would-be tying runs in scoring position in the ninth inning en route to their 10th loss in 11 games and 17th loss in 21 games.

Todd Frazier felt obligated afterward to apologize to deGrom, whose lack of run support has gone from unlucky to bizarre. He has a 0.87 ERA in his past 10 starts, about one-third of a season. The Mets are 2-8 in those games.

“After the game I said, ‘Dude, I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know why we’re not producing for you,’ ” Frazier said. “We talk about trying too hard. Maybe we’re trying too hard when he’s pitching. A guy throws like that, he works fast. He was just dominant.

“Of course he’s going to give up one run, everybody’s human. For us to not put up any runs for him again, I told him I’m sorry. I didn’t know what else to tell him.”

DeGrom dominated again. He allowed one run in seven innings, scattering seven hits and striking out seven. Of 27 Atlanta batters against deGrom, two reached three-ball counts and neither walked.

Wednesday was the fifth consecutive outing in which deGrom lasted at least seven innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs. The Mets have lost all of those games. This time, Matt Soroka held them hitless for 6 1/3 innings.

“I have a goal when I got out there, and that’s to put up zeroes and keep us in the ballgame.” deGrom said. “We weren’t able to put up any runs today.”

Mickey Callaway praised deGrom’s ability not to let that get to him, instead focusing on what he can control, his work on the mound. The manager also noted that the hitters seem to take it harder than the righthander.

“The pitcher’s job is to give you an opportunity to win a game,” Jay Bruce said. “He gives you literally the best opportunity pretty much that you’re going to have to win a game every single time he goes out here this year.

“I know deGrom doesn’t care about the wins and losses by his name, but he has been essentially perfect every time he goes out there, and we’ve wasted him. And that’s frustrating. As frustrating as can be.”

Callaway pulled deGrom after 86 pitches in an effort to manage deGrom’s workload and stressful innings. With such a slim margin for error, Callaway said, even the seemingly easy innings can be stressful.

“I haven’t really noticed it,” deGrom said of the stressful innings. “I want to go out there and put up zeroes whether there’s runners on or no runners on. That’s my goal.”

Asked if his personal success is a consolation amid the team’s struggles, deGrom said, “We’re not winning baseball games. So it doesn’t really matter. The goal is to win baseball games.”

Soroka, 20, in his first start after spending about a month on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain, didn’t allow a hit until the seventh, when Michael Conforto singled on a grounder to shortstop. Leaving the game at 74 pitches, Soroka struck out four and walked one, Bruce in the second. He was erased when Kevin Plawecki grounded into a double play.

The Mets’ offense is in a bad way. They have scored three runs or fewer in nine straight games, their longest such stretch since July 2014. Yoenis Cespedes is missing. Conforto’s hit was his first in 10 days. Frazier is 5-for-27 (.185) with 11 strikeouts and one walk since coming off the disabled list. Bruce is hitting .193 the past month. Even Asdrubal Cabrera is in a 4-for-42 (.095) funk the past two weeks.

And yet the Mets, trailing by two after Jerry Blevins allowed a home run to Freddie Freeman in the eighth, still had a shot in the ninth against Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino. Conforto walked with one out and Frazier stepped up as the potential tying run. He struck out — for the third time in the game — on a called third strike that appeared to be well off the plate.

“Ball,” Frazier said. “Never started on the plate. That’s all I got to say about that.”

Brandon Nimmo then doubled to deep rightfield, putting runners at second and third, but Bruce popped out to end it.

“You can tell nobody is happy that we’re losing,” deGrom said. “We have to score runs to win, and we haven’t been doing that. Nobody is happy with what’s going on.”

Jacob deGrom’s last five starts:

June 13 at Braves: 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 7 SO, 0 BB. Loss, Mets lose 2-0.

June 8 vs. Yankees: 8 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 8 SO, 2 BB. Loss, Mets lose 4-1.

June 2 vs. Cubs: 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 13 SO, 2 BB. ND, Mets lose 7-1.

May 28 at Braves: 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 8 SO, 3 BB. ND, Mets lose 4-3.

May 23 vs. Marlins: 7 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 8 SO, 2 BB. ND, Mets lose 2-1.

New York Sports