Braves go for the sweep against the Mets

Bill Shanks

The Braves will go for their sixth win in a row Monday when they finish out the four-game series with the New York Mets.

This will be a rematch of the first game of the season when the Braves send Mike Soroka (0-0, 1.59) to the mound against Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom (0-0, 1.64).

You probably need to get used to this matchup, as we’re going to be seeing a lot of it in the coming years. deGrom has already won two straight Cy Young awards, and Soroka is probably one of the best candidates for a young pitcher to win it in the future.

On Opening Day, Soroka pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just four hits and striking out three, while deGrom pitched five scoreless frames giving up just one hit while strikeout out eight. Neither pitcher figured into the decision.

The Braves have obviously benefitted from Soroka and Max Fried on the mound. The two of them are a combined 1-0 so far in four starts with an ERA of 2.35. They have allowed just five earned runs on 13 hits in 23 innings, with six walks and 20 strikeouts.

Atlanta’s bullpen has been the story of this team through the first 10 games of the season. The pen has an ERA of 3.07, with 43 hits allowed in 44.0 innings, only 10 walks and 52 strikeouts.

The ERA’s of the relievers are remarkable: Mark Melancon (0.00), Shane Greene (0.00), Tyler Matzek (0.00), Josh Tomlin (0.00), A.J. Minter (1.93), Luke Jackson (1.93), Grant Dayton (2.45), Chris Martin (3.00) and Darren O’Day (3.38).

While the Mets will feel better about their chances of avoiding a sweep with deGrom on the mound, you have to wonder what the team will feel after losing Yoenis Cespedes, who opted out of playing the rest of the season after not showing up for Sunday’s game at Truist Park.

The Braves (7-3) are four games up on the Mets (3-7) in the National League East. They have a 1.5 game lead on the Marlins (2-1) and a 2.5 game lead on the Nationals (3-4) and Phillies (1-2). Obviously those three teams have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreaks this week.

Monday's first pitch will be at 7:10. You can hear Braves coverage Monday afternoon starting at 3:00 on The Bill Shanks Show - online at thesuperstations.com.

Follow Bill Shanks on Twitter at @billshanks and you can email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

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