9) Best NY Mets wins of the season: 8/7 vs Braves
Jacob deGrom missed 13 months with various arm injuries. He was on the verge of having one of, if not the greatest pitching seasons ever before going down right before the all-star break last season. He made his return in August of this season, pitching well in Washington.
While that was all great, deGrom was going to have a real test on his hands for his second start back. This was going to be his 2022 home debut in front of a packed crowd on a Sunday afternoon. The opponent, the Braves.
The Mets had taken the first three of four from Atlanta including sweeping a doubleheader the day before deGrom's start. With a win, they'd take four of five and push their lead against the Braves back up to six and a half games.
I was fortunate enough to attend this game in person. When "Simple Man" played in the ballpark, I got the chills. I was seeing my favorite player make his Citi Field return in a game of such magnitude for the Mets.
deGrom looked like vintage deGrom in this one. He was pouring in 100+ mph fastballs and 95+ mph sliders.
The Mets were able to pounce early against impressive Braves rookie Spencer Strider thanks to two-run doubles by Pete Alonso and Mark Canha in the third inning. Strider was out of the game after just 2.2 innings pitched.
Jacob deGrom was as dominant as I had ever seen him despite facing a loaded Braves lineup. He retired the first 17 Braves to face him including 12 strikeouts. He got 18 whiffs on 20 swings against his slider, which is unheard of.
As deGrom tired out a bit, the right-hander did walk Ehire Adrianza before giving up a two-run home run to Dansby Swanson. That home run ended his day, but this outing signaled to Mets fans that he was back and still an ace in this league.
The Mets bullpen was exhausted from the doubleheader so they had to rely on Joely Rodriguez to give them 2.1 scoreless innings in relief.
With a three-run lead heading to the ninth, the Mets called on Edwin Diaz to close. Diaz did so by striking out the side against Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson, and Austin Riley to end it.
This was another very complete win for the Mets and a very triumphant return for deGrom.