Handling the Braves is as perfect as it gets for the Mets

Sometime in the dark days of this past January and February, when it really seemed that baseball season might not happen, there must have been a day when Buck Showalter allowed himself to think that there was a time at the ballpark. What an ideal day might look like for him. new club.

Surely, this will involve Jacob deGrom at the peak of his powers.

Certainly, it will involve the swing of Pete Alonso’s bat.

Certainly, there will come a moment when he was hoping to establish a winning culture, with contributions from an unlikely source even evident.

And of course, why not, maybe the Mets manager might have even imagined handing the ball to Edwin Diaz, believing he would have easy-to-find things in the ninth inning.

There were a lot of things that definitely felt right on a Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, one of the most perfect weekends for the Mets in a while. DeGrom was beyond spectacular. Alonso scored the Mets’ first run in the third game in a row.

For the second time in two months we saw a mate slide short of an infielder, decoobbing that infielder to tag the mate without the ball (it didn’t work this time, but raise your hand if you’ve hit it once in your life) as a baseball fan, and now you’ve seen it twice). Jolie Rodriguez got up from the trash.

And Diaz was as funny as ever.

edwin diazoo
Robert Sabo

The Mets beat the Braves 5-2, Taking four out of five with a ringing authority that could be heard all the way up Peachtree Street, with a joie de vivre that made Citi Field feel like the happiest baseball place in the ground. The Braves were trapped within half a game of the Mets about 15 minutes earlier.

They stumbled 6½ games back to Boston.

“That,” said Showalter, “was fun.”

There was lightning from Park deGrom’s first pitch, a 99-mph laser that Dansby Swanson propelled into right field. DeGrom scored 12 runs. He retired the first 17 hitters he faced. Twenty times, he threw a slider at which the Braves offered; They swing and miss in the first 18.

The ovation degrom received as soon as he left the field reflects what happened at City throughout the weekend: a team of great promise and great hope has turned into a team that is just beginning to realize that something may be additional.

“He was on top of his game,” Showalter said of DeGrom. “I wish I was more equipped to say something worthy of his outing. It was something to behold.”

jacob degrom
Robert Sabo

Also, as well as the way things were going for the Mets this year, there was an up-and-coming spectator about what could happen when DeGrome returned. That could have been a fool’s gold; There was no way to be sure he could be who he was last year. Yet on Sunday, he was as good as he ever was. And for a while, Mets fans who came to salute DeGrome saw their feelings almost get the better of them as he took the mound for the top of the first.

“I was very emotional,” DeGrom said. “I needed a minute to prepare myself.”

DeGrom was the keystone, but there was a lot to be happy with on Sunday afternoon. The Mets’ starting pitcher’s grind continued, and he chased down Spencer Strider before the end of the third inning. Alonso’s two-run double put him on the offensive. Rodriguez had his best time as a mate, with seven big outs. And Diaz was Diaz.

straight blueprint.

The Mets celebrated their victory over the Braves on Sunday.
Getty Images

“We all have a goal here, everyone is pulling in the same direction,” DeGrom said. “It’s a really cool thing that we’re going to have and the goal is to keep it going.”

37,717 at home rose and roared as DeGrom walked off the field with two outs in the sixth, when Swanson finally touched him for a two-run homer.

“It was good,” DeGrom said with a sly grin, “but I was very disappointed.”

If so, it was one of the few such moments of the day for those interested in the Mets. The Mets haven’t achieved the NL East in the last four days. But he showed a familiar calling card of toughness. The Braves spent most of June winning every day and devoured it in a nearly 10-game lead, taking away the Mets’ lead. The Mets took the Braves’ best shot, and this weekend they delivered some old-school highmakers of their own.

Not a bad stretch of days at the office. Perfect day in the ballpark. Not even a bad weekend. not at all.

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