By John Schweibacher
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The New York Mets have won four straight games and five of their last six, thanks to their starting pitchers, who have allowed one run or fewer in each outing.
The Mets took the opener of their three-game series against the Cubs with a 6-1 victory on Monday night at Citi Field. Jacob deGrom bounced back from two bad starts with his second career complete game, allowing five hits and four walks while striking out six.
The last nine-inning, complete game by a Mets starter against the Cubs happened on April 20, 1997, when Bobby Jones went the distance in an 8-2 victory at Shea Stadium.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, deGrom ended the Mets’ streak of 293 straight home games without a complete game, dating to Jonathon Niese shutting out the Phillies on Aug. 27, 2013. Elias says the only team in major league history to have a longer streak of home games without a complete game was the Rockies, who went 309 straight from 2011 to 2014.
The Mets took three out of four against the Braves with a 2-1 win Sunday afternoon. Seth Lugo matched Steven Matz’s effort from the day before, allowing one run over seven innings in his first start of 2017.
It marked the first time in 14 tries this season that the Mets won a game without scoring more than two runs. The Mets won 11 games in which they scored two runs or fewer in 2016, second only to the Giants (13) for the most in the majors.
The Mets completed the doubleheader sweep with an 8-1 win over Atlanta on Saturday night. In his season debut, Matz went seven innings, allowing just one run.
It was the first time since April 19 (Robert Gsellman vs. the Phillies), April 20 (Noah Syndergaard vs. the Phillies) and April 21 (Matt Harvey vs. the Natonals), that the Mets got consecutive starts of at least seven innings.
Matz is now 4–0 with a 2.97 ERA in six career starts against Atlanta. According Elias, the young left-hander is the first Mets pitcher to go undefeated in his first six starts against the Braves since David Cone went 4-0 in his first seven from 1988 to 1990.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a ninth-inning grand slam in his first game off the disabled list to help the Mets beat the Braves, 6-1, in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at SunTrust Park.
Cespedes, who also hit a grand slam last season against the Braves at Turner Field, now has two of the seven road slams the Mets have hit against Atlanta in club history:
7/10/17: Yoenis Cespedes (Mets win 6-1)
9/11/16: Cespedes (Mets win 10-3)
4/22/16: Curtis Granderson (Mets win 6-3)
7/30/06: Carlos Beltran (Mets win 10-6)
5/23/03: Jeromy Burnitz (Mets win 6-5)
4/26/88: Keith Hernandez (Mets win 13-4)
8/7/71: Ken Boswell (Mets win 20-6)
Wilmer Flores went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly in the day game and was 4-for-5 in the night game of Saturday’s split doubleheader. Elias notes that over the last four seasons, the only other time a Mets player had six hits on one day was when Flores himself did so in one game, going 6-for-6 in a 14-3 win over the Cubs on July 3 at Citi Field.
The Mets lost the opener of the four-game weekend series in Atlanta, 3-2, on Friday night. Dansby Swanson scored the winning run on Rio Ruiz’s single in the bottom of the ninth after leading off with a hustle double on a ground ball up the middle. It was the Mets first “walk-off” loss at SunTrust Park.
Here are the Braves previous first “walk-off” victories over the Mets in their previous ballparks:
7/24/62: County Stadium, Milwaukee (Braves win 5-4 in 12 innings)
5/17/67: Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta (Braves win 4-3)
7/5/98: Turner Field, Atlanta (Braves win 3-2 in 11)
The Mets split their interleague series with the Rangers with a 4-3 win on Wednesday night. Jay Bruce hit two home runs against Yu Darvish, his fourth multi-home run game of the season. Only six Mets have had more than four games with at least two homers in a single season in club history:
Dave Kingman: 7 in 1976
Carlos Delgado: 7 in 2008
Lucas Duda: 7 in 2015
Carlos Beltran: 5 in 2007
Bobby Bonilla: 5 in 1993
Frank Thomas: 5 in 1962
The Mets lost the opener in Texas, 10-8, last Tuesday night despite home runs from Juan Lagares, Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker, Curtis Granderson and Travis d’Arnaud.
The Mets have hit five home runs in a loss on only two other occasions in team history:
8/1/62: Reds 8, Mets 6 (Thomas 2, Coleman, Throneberry and Neal)
9/4/93: Cubs 9, Mets 8 (Thompson 2, Bonilla 2 and Murray)
Happy Recap: Pitching In. The Mets have allowed one run in each of their last four games. The last time they had a streak of at least four games in which they allowed one or no runs was back in 2007, over the first four games of the regular season.
Nine Miles of Rough Road: Tough Schedule. The Mets are in the midst of a stretch of 14 consecutive games against teams that made the postseason in 2016.