Mets' deGrom leaves loss to Braves with hyperextended elbow
NEW YORK (AP) — Finally armed with a healthy rotation, the New York Mets rolled to the top of the NL East in April and settled concerns after a frustrating 2017.
One big swing from Jacob deGrom, a few more from the Atlanta Braves, and suddenly Queens is rife with anxiety again.
DeGrom was pulled after four dominant innings with a hyperextended right elbow, and the Braves broke out against the bullpen to back a stellar start by Sean Newcomb and beat New York 7-0 Wednesday night.
DeGrom was injured while striking out swinging in the third inning. He returned to the dugout and told manager Mickey Callaway his arm hurt, but he wanted to keep pitching. DeGrom pitched smoothly through the heart of Atlanta's order in the fourth, but then told the staff his biceps was sore and left for the clubhouse after 46 pitches. He was replaced by Paul Sewald to begin the fifth.
The ace was sent for an MRI, and the team expects to get results Thursday. Hyperextended elbows are a rare injury for a pitcher, and Callaway said he has no idea how long deGrom could be out.
"We're not quite sure what the deal is," Callaway said. "We won't have any information until tomorrow."
"I'm sure I won't sleep very good," he added.
Atlanta also had an injury concern when shortstop Dansby Swanson was lifted in the sixth inning with a sore left wrist. Swanson felt discomfort while hitting, and Braves manager Brian Snitker removed him as a precaution. Snitker said Swanson will sit out Thursday and then be re-evaluated.
Upstart Atlanta (18-11) overtook the Mets for the division lead behind seven innings of two-hit ball from Newcomb (2-1). The 24-year-old retired his final 14 batters, struck out eight and walked none on 97 pitches.
It was the first time in his career that Newcomb completed seven innings.
"Just throwing strike after strike," Snitker said. "He could have just pitched all night because he was in sync. Delivery was working. That was good to see."
Atlanta's starters entered with a 2.67 ERA over their previous 23 games.
Sam Freeman and Peter Moylan wrapped up Atlanta's three-hitter with an inning each.
Sewald (0-2) allowed an RBI single to Freddie Freeman in the sixth and a two-run homer to Ender Inciarte in the seventh. Newcomb lined a double off the left field wall a pitch prior to Inciarte's shot to right.
Sewald gave up three runs in three innings, and Robert Gsellman gave up back-to-back homers to Johan Camargo and Ryan Flaherty during a four-run eighth.
Freeman and Nick Markakis each had three hits and an RBI for Atlanta. Baby Braves Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. both went 0 for 5.
DEGROM DAZZLES, THEN DEPARTS
A night after the Braves blitzed Noah Syndergaard for three runs before the first out, deGrom chewed up Atlanta early. He struck out Albies on four pitches to lead off, used six more pitches to finish up the first and cruised through four without incident.
DeGrom had six strikeouts and allowed two hits, stretching his scoreless inning streak to 18 1/3. He struck out four straight at one point and lowered his ERA to 1.87.
Callaway, formerly the pitching coach with Cleveland, said he's never had a pitcher suffer a hyperextended elbow.
"I've always been in the American League," he said. "I'd rather them not hit."
Callaway said Corey Oswalt and Matt Harvey could be candidates to fill deGrom's rotation spot if he has to miss time.
DANSBY DEPARTS, TOO
Swanson struck out in his first two at-bats before being replaced by Camargo in the field for the sixth inning.
"That last at-bat he had, I could just tell something wasn't right with the swing," Snitker said. "Something that got a little sore and I just wanted to get him out of there."
Swanson, the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, is having a bounce-back season after a disappointing 2017, hitting .289 with two homers and 13 RBIs.
Yoenis Cespedes snapped his glitzy necklace during a hard slide into second base in the first inning, scattering gems around the infield.
Cespedes hustled into the bag after blooping a ball down the right field line, and second baseman Albies jumped over him while receiving a throw from the outfield. Cespedes was stretching after the play when he noticed one of his necklaces was broken, pulled it off his neck and furiously threw it to the ground.
The Mets telecast showed what appeared to be diamonds glistening in the dirt near the bag. A half-inning later, New York second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera and second base umpire Bill Welke stooped around the base, apparently picking up pieces of the necklace.
Braves: RHP Shane Carle threw long toss a day after leaving a game with numbness in his right index finger and thumb. He spent much of Wednesday at the hospital for a series of tests that "didn't find anything," Snitker said. Carle will throw a bullpen Thursday and is day to day. The 26-year-old rookie has a 0.96 ERA in 14 games this year.
Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran (1-1, 4.50 ERA) faces Mets left-hander Jason Vargas (0-1, 22.09) in the series finale. Teheran left his previous start Friday against Philadelphia with upper back tightness but avoided the disabled list. Vargas gave up nine runs in his season debut Saturday against San Diego after missing the start of the season with a fracture in his right hand.