ATLANTA -- There was only one thing Todd Frazier had to say to Jacob deGrom after the Mets' 2-0 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park on Wednesday afternoon.Two simple words: "I'm sorry."Frazier apologized to deGrom after the starting pitcher gave the Mets a fighting chance to defeat the Braves,
ATLANTA -- There was only one thing Todd Frazier had to say to Jacob deGrom after the Mets' 2-0 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Two simple words: "I'm sorry."
Frazier apologized to deGrom after the starting pitcher gave the Mets a fighting chance to defeat the Braves, but New York's offense again let down its ace.
deGrom may trail only Justin Verlander for the lowest ERA in the Majors, but he continued to get no help from his lineup. Wednesday marked the eighth time in his past 10 starts that the Mets couldn't produce enough runs to secure a win after a quality start from deGrom. In nine of his past 10 starts, the right-hander has allowed one run or less, and the Mets have lost all but two of those games.
"For us not to put up any runs for him again, I told him I was sorry," Frazier said. "I don't know what else to tell him."
deGrom has been spectacular against the Braves this season, posting an 0.72 ERA in his first four outings against Atlanta, but the Mets haven't come away with a win after any of those starts. He held the Braves to one run on seven hits through seven innings with seven strikeouts on Wednesday.
"One run against deGrom is like six. He never makes mistakes," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said. "I think he's one of the top two or three pitchers in this whole entire game. When we had our advance meeting in the morning, it's almost like you just say, 'Good luck and hopefully you hit one today.' He's a special pitcher and we seem to draw him every single time."
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said his team's desire to give deGrom a measure of breathing room was evident in the dugout.
"They want to score runs for him so bad. It's kind of that catch-22," Callaway said. "They are out there trying to score runs so bad that I think maybe that's affecting them."
And while the Mets' lineup is feeling the pressure, deGrom admits the stretch of losses -- especially the way they have come about -- is frustrating.
"You can tell nobody is happy that we are losing," deGrom said. "You have to score runs to win, and we haven't been doing that. Nobody is happy with what's going on."
The Mets were held without a hit through six innings as Braves starter Mike Soroka crept in on a no-hit bid in his first start since being put on the 10-day disabled list on May 17. Soroka finished Wednesday by tossing 6 1/3 innings, striking out four and allowing the lone hit.
The Mets' first hit of the day came in the top of the seventh from a ground ball off the bat of Michael Conforto, who was 0-for-22 before his third at-bat on Wednesday, his longest career streak without a hit.
Freeman gave the Braves all the run support they needed. He sliced a 91-mph slider to left field for an RBI single to score Dansby Swanson from second in the bottom of the fourth inning, and he added an insurance run in the eighth with a solo homer off of Mets reliever Jerry Blevins.
With Wednesday's decision, the Mets have now dropped 10 of their past 11 games.
"We haven't been able to win," deGrom said. "It's a frustrating stretch."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
It wasn't much, but it could have made a difference if the bats ever came out for the Mets. In the bottom of the fourth, Freeman stroked a hard line drive out to shallow left field. A charging Brandon Nimmo bobbled the transition from glove to hand, allowing Swanson to score from second. Had the bobble not occured, Nimmo would have had a chance to nail Swanson at home.
deGrom is the first pitcher since Randy Johnson of the 1999 D-backs to put together five consecutive starts of seven innings or more with two or fewer runs allowed without his team coming away with a win.
Wednesday's game wrapped up in a tidy two hours and 12 minutes, making it the second-shortest game of the season after the D-backs' two-hour, five-minute 1-0 win over the Giants on April 17. The last time the Mets finished a nine-inning game quicker was April 25, 2015 (two hours, eight minutes).
HE SAID IT
"Stick with the guys. We're going to be fine. We're not going to give up… [the fans] deserve better than what we've been giving them. We are going to keep on grinding every day to give them the best we can." --- Callaway, on his message to Mets fans
The Mets continue their three-city, 10-game tour when they face the D-backs for the first of a four-game series at Chase Field at 9:40 p.m. ET on Thursday. New York will send out left-hander Steven Matz, who surrendered his first home run since May 19 on Saturday, when he struck out six against the Yankees. Arizona will counter with Matt Koch, who has posted a 4.34 ERA through 10 starts since replacing Taijuan Walker in the starting rotation.
Tori McElhaney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.