Jacob deGrom likely to start in Mets-Braves doubleheader

MLB Baseball

There’s one streak the New York Mets would like to see end for Jacob deGrom on Monday afternoon.

DeGrom is expected to try to continue his historic start — and prove he’s fully healthy — when he takes the mound for the Mets in one game of a doubleheader against the visiting Atlanta Braves.

Though the right-handed deGrom (6-2, 0.54 ERA) said he plans to start, the Mets haven’t officially announced either starting pitcher for the doubleheader. The Braves will go with right-hander Ian Anderson (4-3, 3.58 ERA) and left-hander Kyle Muller (0-0, 18.00 ERA), though they didn’t reveal which pitcher would start which game.

The doubleheader will be the second in as many days for the Braves, who fell to the visiting St. Louis Cardinals 9-1 in Sunday’s opener before Ronald Acuna Jr. hit the 100th homer of his career and Drew Smyly combined with two relievers on a two-hitter in a 1-0 victory in the nightcap.

The Mets’ offensive woes continued with a 5-2 loss to the host Washington Nationals, who took three of four games in the weekend set while limiting New York to nine runs.

DeGrom often has been the Mets’ best hitter when he’s on the mound – he is batting .423 and has more RBIs (six) than earned runs allowed (four) – but there’s a chance he won’t swing the bat if he starts Monday.

The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner exited last Wednesday’s start against the Chicago Cubs with right-shoulder soreness after striking out eight over three perfect innings.

“The main thing is to be healthy and be out there on the mound,” deGrom told the New York Post on Saturday. “It’s probably not smart to go out there and swing like I have been swinging.”

Health is the only opponent giving deGrom a hard time this season. He has thrown 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings and has the lowest ERA ever for a pitcher through his first 11 starts but has exited three starts with injuries, including his past two. He pitched six one-hit innings against the San Diego Padres on June 11 before leaving with right-flexor tendinitis. MRIs on his elbow and shoulder came back clean.

Acuna’s milestone homer — only five players have reached 100 homers faster than Acuna, who did so in his 377th game — gave the Braves the four-game series win and ensured they’d head north with momentum as they prepare for a key road trip. After playing four games against the Mets in three days, Atlanta will head to Cincinnati for a four-game series against the Reds, who won six straight before being swept in four games over the weekend by the San Diego Padres.

“This was a good series to win, a big series to win, because we have a grueling week coming up,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Anderson didn’t factor into the decision last Wednesday, when he gave up four runs over four innings as the Braves fell to the Boston Red Sox, 10-8. The start Monday will be the second big-league appearance for Muller, who made his MLB debut by relieving Anderson and giving up two runs in one inning.

DeGrom is 8-7 with a 1.94 ERA and 181 strikeouts in 23 career starts against the Braves. Anderson is 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in two starts against the Mets.

–Field Level Media

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