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Mets’ David Peterson rides hot stretch into start vs. Braves

Sportsnaut
Jul 6, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher David Peterson (23) throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

David Peterson filled some big shoes when New York ace Max Scherzer was on the injured list. Now the big left-hander will try to continue his hot streak as the visiting Mets take on the Atlanta Braves in the second game of a three-game series on Tuesday.

The Mets won 4-1 in the series opener on Monday, snapping Atlanta’s three-game winning streak. New York won for the sixth time in nine games.

Peterson (5-1, 3.48 ERA) will be opposed by Atlanta rookie Spencer Strider (4-2, 2.60).

Peterson made his most recent start on Wednesday at Cincinnati. He threw 3 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on four hits with a career-high five walks and seven strikeouts. He did not receive a decision in the Mets’ 8-3 win in 10 innings.

Peterson has logged 12-plus swings and misses in four straight starts, leading to a 2-0 record and a 3.27 ERA in those outings. Before the current surge, he had just four starts in his career in which he made opposing batters swing and miss at least 12 times. He has struck out at least seven in four straight starts after never previously having back-to-back outings with at least seven K’s.

“My mentality is always one pitch at a time,” Peterson said. “When you’re in a rhythm like that, it’s pretty easy to build off good pitches.”

Peterson is 2-2 with a 5.84 ERA in five career starts against Atlanta. He beat the Braves on May 3 after allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts over five innings of a 5-4 win. Peterson is 0-2 with a 7.90 ERA in three starts at Atlanta.

Strider will make his ninth career start since joining the Atlanta rotation as the No. 5 starter in late May. After opening the year with 11 relief outings, Strider has been able to stretch out his appearances and has worked exactly six innings in each of his past three starts.

Strider has allowed one run during that three-start span for a 0.50 ERA. In his latest outing, on Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals, Strider did not get a decision despite firing six shutout innings. He allowed two hits and two walks while registering a career-high 12 strikeouts.

“I tried to control the emotions early in the game, not getting too fired up, trying to execute pitches and not expend too much energy,” Strider said. “Sometimes it’s frustrating to have the velo and still not get deeper in the game. Should be more economical, and some of those two-strike pitches could have been executed better and could have shortened some at-bats.”

Strider has never started against the Mets. He made two relief appearances against New York in 2021, going 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.

New York’s Pete Alonso drove in two runs on Monday, giving him a major-league-leading 72 RBIs. He is two shy of the team record for most RBIs before the All-Star Game, a mark set by David Wright in 2006. Alonso is close to the milestone despite enduring a 10-game stretch without an RBI from June 28 through Friday.

Mets All-Star closer Edwin Diaz continued his dominant season on Monday. He struck out the side — the heart of the Atlanta lineup — to close out the victory and earn his 19th save. Diaz has 73 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings.

–Field Level Media