Hard Luck deGrom Gets Praise From Braves

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

Anibal Sanchez was dominant again against the New York Mets at Citi Field Friday evening. The Braves Right-hander limited the Mets to two hits over six innings as Atlanta won a season tying fifth straight game 2-1.

It was the Braves second straight win over a Mets team that lost their fourth straight game. And it was also another hard luck loss for their Right-Hander Jacob deGrom. The NL leader in earned run average lost a career high fifth straight  the longest of his career and drove in the Mets only run.

DeGrom was superb again with the fastball and matched his career-high set last year with his sixth outing of at least 8.0 innings with no more than two earned runs allowed.  A hard luck pitcher now 5-7 with that league leading 1.85 ERA.

The Braves have also won all five games this season when facing deGrom despite allowing three total runs in 33.0 innings. The last five games that Atlanta has won when facing deGrom they have scored four runs.

And for the Braves, Sanchez is a catalyst of a pitching staff that continues to make the Braves believers in their quest for a NL East division title. With their win and the Phillies doing the same, Atlanta remains a half game behind the Philadelphia for first place in the division.

So with Sanchez throwing a good amount of fastballs, and also having command with a curve and slider, the Mets could amount no offense and enable their ace to get a win.  Sanchez threw 6.0 innings and struck out a season high nine. It was his six straight start of at least 6.0 innings.

“Prepared to not make any type of mistakes,” he said.

Sanchez said his preparation wasn’t different. He was able to change speeds and hit the corner high and low. Though deGrom was on the mound as his opponent, he said preparing was the same and the intent was to get a win .

But there was that mutual respect for Jacob deGrom.Sanchez was on the other side with a win and said the purpose was to keep the game close.  

“You had to,” he said. “He’s really good,” when asked to comment about deGrom and his hard luck with that lack of run support.

But Sanchez had enough run support and it held up. Ozzie Albies got the go ahead RBI double in the fifth inning, his ninth game winning RBI.

Braves manager Brian Snitker is also on the deGrom bandwagon. He knew the task would be difficult but his team managed to get the necessary runs for the win. Atlanta with their two runs have scored four in 33 innings against deGrom this season  and have won all five games.

“If you start thinking on him you are going to lose the battle,” Snitker said. “He changes speeds. So many variables to deal with him. He threw eight innings again. Pitched well enough to win the game tonight.”

The difference again was Sanchez. He won the battle with a team that can score wins and get wins in different ways.

“Five run lead I’d probably still have him out there,” said Snitker. If only Jacob deGrom had more run support and the Braves know something about that.

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