With Jacob deGrom taking the hill for New York, it could have been assumed Wednesday would likely feature a low-scoring affair between the Mets and Braves. deGrom delivered, allowing just one run over seven innings, but was outdueled by Mike Soroka, who dazzled Mets hitters all afternoon as he pitched 6 1⁄3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. Soroka carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but leadoff batter Michael Conforto beat the shift with a well-placed ground ball to the spot generally occupied by the shortstop. Soroka may have gotten unlucky in his bid for a no-hitter, but given that he missed close to a month due to injury, the Braves and their prized young arm should be ecstatic with the performance. Offensively, the Braves plated two runs, one on a Freddie Freeman single to left and the other on a Freeman homer to right. That was all Atlanta would need as the bullpen finished the brilliant work by Soroka to give Atlanta a 2-0 victory.
As mentioned above, Freddie Freeman carried the Braves offensively on Wednesday. But in the midst of his heroics, Freeman was also carrying a heavy burden, as June 13th marks the anniversary of his mother’s passing in 2000. Freeman delivered, as he so often does, in the moments when Atlanta needed a big hit, and briefly shared his feelings with beat writer Mark Bowman on the eighth inning home run that gave the Braves a much-needed insurance run late in the game.
But as Freeman thought about this latest home run -- hit off Mets left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins -- he believed he might have received some motherly assistance. The drive left the bat with a 42-degree launch angle -- his highest mark on any homer since Statcast™ started tracking in 2015. It landed in the first few rows of the right-center-field seats.
”I hit that really high,” Freeman said. “I know I hit it good, but I think she pulled that one over for me.”
Tess DeMeyer of AJC.com interviewed Braves Hall of Fame GM and President John Schuerholz at the Atlanta Sports Awards on Thursday with questions about his career, the greatest memories of his time as general manager, and some of his biggest regrets. The questions are few, but Schuerholz is, as always, well-articulated and thorough in his responses.