ATLANTA — Mike Soroka baffled the New York Mets for six innings on May 1 in his major league debut at Citi Field Womens Drew Brees Jersey , allowing six hits and a run while walking none and striking out five in a 3-2 victory by the Atlanta Braves.
The rookie right-hander didn’t fare as well in his next two starts, though, and he faces the Mets at SunTrust Field on Wednesday after having missed nearly four weeks because of a shoulder strain.
The Braves (38-28) are looking for a sweep of the two-game series after winning 8-2 on Tuesday night to take over sole possession of first place in the National League East and send the skidding Mets (28-35) to their 14th loss in the past 17 games.
“When you’re scoring runs at the anemic rate that we have, something hasn’t worked,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said before the game. “From that standpoint, I take total responsibility for where we are. I’m not happy about it. But at the same time, the job now is to figure out how to fix it and improve it. We are focused on getting the team back to where it was many weeks ago.”
The Braves had planned to give Soroka three minor league rehab starts, but they will activate the 20-year-old Canadian from the disabled list after just two to face the Mets following a 73-pitch outing for Triple-A Gwinnett last week.
“He came out of everything really well and the reports were really good,” manager Brian Snitker said. “So, we just decided to let him have (the start).”
Soroka (1-1, 3.68 ERA) was matched against hard-throwing Noah Syndergaard in his debut and this time his mound opponent will be Mets ace Jacob deGrom.
DeGrom (4-1, 1.57 ERA) will be making his fourth start against the Braves this season and has yet to have a decision despite a 0.50 ERA.
DeGrom, the victim of lack of run support and bullpen failures, took his first loss Friday while turning in another quality start, allowing four hits and two earned runs over eight innings against the New York Yankees while striking out eight.
The right-hander struck out 13 over seven innings against the Chicago Cubs while getting a no-decision in his start prior to that and lost a chance for a win in Atlanta on May 28 when the Braves’ Charlie Culberson hit a two-run walk-off homer in the ninth inning against reliever Seth Lugo.
“I think it’s frustrating no matter what, whether I’m pitching or not,” deGrom said. “We don’t want to lose and when we do lose games, it’s frustrating for everybody. Obviously Authentic Cameron Jordan Jersey , that’s not what we’re trying to do.”
DeGrom’s ERA is the best in the National League by nearly a half run and he is second with 106 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings. Yet he has just four victories in 13 starts and has received a no-decision eight times.
Before the loss to the Yankees, deGrom had allowed one run or less in eight consecutive starts and he has done it nine times this season.
DeGrom is 5-3 with a 1.84 ERA in 14 career starts against the Braves, striking out 98 in 88 innings.
The 27-year-old former Stetson University shortstop has allowed just 11 hits and a run over 18 innings in his three no-decision against Atlanta this season and has 25 strikeouts to five walks.
Soroka, a first-round draft pick in 2015, made it through just four innings in a loss to San Francisco after his impressive debut against the Mets, then began feeling shoulder discomfort while pitching 4 2/3 innings at Miami in his third start.
Soroka totaled just eight innings in his two minor league rehab appearances, but struck out seven over 4 1/3 innings for Gwinnett against Syracuse last week and the Braves decided he was ready to fill an open rotation spot against the Mets.
“He can go 85, 90 (pitches), which is all he would probably be doing anyway,” Snitker said.
All that’s left of the 2018 NFL scouting combine is for the deepest class of defensive backs ever to attend the annual assembly of college prospects to wrap up their testing and timing Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Then, they’ll join the other hopefuls in returning home to prepare for their pro days, team visits and the NFL draft in Arlington, Texas, next month.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights and lowlights of this year’s combine:
BARKLEY BLOWS IT UP : Penn State running back Saquon Barkley exceeded lofty expectations in Indianapolis. His 29 reps on the bench press bested Luke Kuechly’s 27. His 4.4 time in the 40-yard dash was better than Ezekiel Elliott’s 4.47 and his 41-inch vertical jump was higher than Odell Beckham Jr.’s 38 .
”Oh no, I’m not surprised,” said Nittany Lions linebacker Jason Cabinda, saying he’s seen that kind of dogged determination every day out of Barkley, who could go anywhere in the top five picks depending on the run on quarterbacks.
”I’m competitive Womens Cameron Jordan Jersey ,” Barkley said, ”but I don’t care if I’m drafted 1, 5 or 72 or the last pick, I’m going to come in with my head low ready to work.”
GREAT GRIFFIN : Shaquem Griffin did 20 reps on the bench press with a prosthetic left hand in what was by far the best feel-good story of the combine.
”My goal was six,” acknowledged Griffin, who almost doubled his previous high of 11 reps and surpassed the 17 his twin brother, Shaquille, managed at last year’s combine before the Seattle Seahawks selected the speedy cornerback in the third round.
Griffin is expected to be a mid-rounder like his brother.
”This is a legitimate football player,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. ”He’s an energy giver.”
One who, conversely, fed off the hoots and hollers during his bench press.
”Everybody in the stands was hyping me up. I got the guys I’m here with hyping me up. It felt amazing,” Griffin said.
JACK OF ONE TRADE : Louisville QB Lamar Jackson showed off a strong arm and excellent footwork but also some inconsistency while throwing to receivers Saturday. What he didn’t do was run routes.
Many wonder if the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner might be best suited as an NFL receiver, but he insists he’s ”strictly a quarterback.”
Mayock called Jackson the best and most fascinating athlete in this year’s draft, noting that while his passing game needs plenty of polish, he’s going to have an immediate impact running the football.
”He’s Michael Vick,” Mayock said. ”He has as good a pair of legs as anybody in the history of the game. And he’s going to win games with his legs.”
DARNOLD’S DODGE : USC quarterback Sam Darnold refused to throw at the combine, preferring to show off his arm at his upcoming pro day with receivers he’s used to playing with.
”I was a little disappointed Darnold didn’t throw,” Mayock said. ”You get a chance to show off a little bit here. This is all about competition. I wonder in his heart of hearts if he missed competing (Saturday). Because the other guys went out and ripped it pretty good.
”I thought Josh Allen put on a show.”
HURST GOES HOME : Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst Jr. Authentic Odell Beckham Jr Jersey , a possible first-rounder, was kept out of drills at the combine after doctors reportedly red-flagged a heart condition. Hurst told Utah defensive lineman Lowell Lotulelei that he had been diagnosed with the same heart condition as Lotulelei’s older brother, Star.
Hurst, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle, had 59 tackles and 5 sacks last season. He also had 13 tackles for loss and has been considered one component of a deep class of defensive tackles in this year’s draft.
BAD, BAD ORLANDO BROWN JR. : The only thing that went well for Oklahoma’s massive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. was the vote of confidence from his Heisman Trophy-winning teammate.
”When are you ever going to watch Orlando Brown run 40 yards down the field?” quarterback Baker Mayfield asked. ”You can watch last year’s tape and see he allowed zero sacks. I’d say that’s pretty important for a left tackle.”
It sure is.
But measures matter, too, and Brown’s wretched week will surely cause him to slide down draft boards: He managed just 14 reps on the bench press, lumbered though the 40-yard dash in 5.85 seconds and put up historically poor numbers in the broad and vertical jumps.
THIN AT TACKLE : Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey is projected as a late first-rounder, but if he falls to the second round, this year’s NFL draft would be the first one in more than a half century without an offensive tackle taken in the first round.
The last time that happened was in 1965, and there were only 11 first-round picks that year. The last time a tackle wasn’t selected in the top 32 picks was in 1960, when Len Rohde of Utah State went to the San Francisco 49ers with the 38th overall selection in the fifth round.
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