Braves rally vs. Mets, give Wisler first win
ATLANTA -- Jace Peterson's two-run double in the eighth inning ruined Jacob deGrom's gem and enabled the Braves to celebrate Matt Wisler's sparkling Major League debut with a 2-1 win over the Mets on Friday night at Turner Field.
deGrom had surrendered just two hits before giving up Andrelton Simmons' leadoff double and Pedro Ciriaco's one-out infield single in the eighth. With runners at the corners, the Mets pulled their prized right-hander in favor of former Braves farmhand Sean Gilmartin, who promptly allowed Peterson to drill his game-winner over Juan Lagares' head in center field.
"[Wisler] threw great," said Peterson, who roomed with the young pitcher when they were in the Padres organization last year. "Any time you can get a performance like that, you want to capitalize on it, and fortunately, I was able to do it."
Wisler proved why he has been considered one of the game's best pitching prospects. The 22-year-old right-hander, who was acquired in the April trade that sent Craig Kimbrel to the Padres, allowed one run and six hits over eight innings. His stellar debut was blemished only by Michael Cuddyer's one-out RBI single in the sixth inning.
"I actually felt pretty comfortable and confident out there," Wisler said. "It was just another game, really."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Unfazed rookie: After surrendering a leadoff double that helped put Ruben Tejada in position to score when Cuddyer chopped his sixth-inning single over a drawn-in infield, Wisler saw Chris Johnson and Peterson end the frame by turning a nifty double play on Wilmer Flores' sharp grounder. The young Atlanta hurler retired seven of the final eight batters he faced and completed a perfect eighth inning by getting Lucas Duda to look at a slider for a called third strike. More >
Happy Birthday? On his 27th birthday, deGrom continued his recent hobby of shutting down Atlanta hitters -- until the eighth inning. deGrom threw seven shutout innings before running into trouble in the eighth, when Simmons led off with a double. After surrendering a sacrifice bunt and an infield single to pinch-hitter Ciriaco, deGrom was pulled. Simmons and Ciriaco wound up scoring on the next at-bat, with both runs being charged to deGrom.
"I hung a curveball there, and he hit it," deGrom said about Simmons' double. "That's part of the game." More >
Ciriaco's hustle: Peterson delivered the game-winner, but it was Ciriaco who helped fuel the eighth-inning rally by sprinting to first base as Flores caught his one-out chopper in the grass and then looked Simmons back to third base. That slight delay allowed Ciriaco to reach with an infield single and ended the night for deGrom, who'd entered the eighth inning having allowed just two earned runs over the past 27 innings he had completed against the Braves.
"I'm just going out there trying to locate and stay within myself, not trying to do too much and just pitch ahead in the count, get strike one and go from there. I think my mechanics are sound right now, and they were like that at the end of last year. Early on I was getting a little out of my delivery. And working, staying on top of that has helped me out a lot in these past seven starts." -- deGrom, on his recent success
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Wisler became the first Braves starter to throw at least eight innings in his Major League debut since John Smoltz back in 1988. Their starts are eerily similar; Smoltz also debuted against the Mets, tossed eight innings and allowed one run with two strikeouts in a win.
Wisler needed just 88 pitches to complete his eight innings. He is the first pitcher since 1914 to throw that few over that long a span in his Major League debut.
Mets: The Mets look to Noah Syndergaard in Game 2 of their three-game series at Turner Field on Saturday night at 7:10 ET. The rookie right-hander is coming off his best start of the season, during which he struck out 11 Toronto hitters and allowed just one earned run over six innings.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Williams Perez, who has not allowed an earned run in the 13 innings he has totaled over his past two starts. Perez has proven to be a welcome surprise, as he has used his sinker to consistently escape trouble. In six career starts, he has a 1.50 ERA despite surrendering a .322 on-base percentage.
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