NEW YORK — Finally armed with a healthy rotation, the New York Mets rolled to the top of the NL East in April and settled concerns after a frustrating 2017.
One big swing from Jacob deGrom, a few more from the Atlanta Braves, and suddenly Queens is rife with anxiety again.
DeGrom was pulled after four dominant innings with a hyperextended right elbow, and the Braves broke out against the bullpen to back a stellar start by Sean Newcomb and beat New York 7-0 Wednesday night.
DeGrom was injured while striking out swinging in the third inning. He returned to the dugout and told manager Mickey Callaway his arm hurt, but he wanted to keep pitching. DeGrom pitched smoothly through the heart of Atlanta's order in the fourth, but then told the staff his biceps was sore and left for the clubhouse after 46 pitches. He was replaced by Paul Sewald to begin the fifth.
The ace was sent for an MRI, and the team expects to get results Thursday. Hyperextended elbows are a rare injury for a pitcher, and Callaway said he has no idea how long deGrom could be out.
"We're not quite sure what the deal is," Callaway said. "We won't have any information until tomorrow."
"I'm sure I won't sleep very good," he added.
Atlanta also had an injury concern when shortstop Dansby Swanson was lifted in the sixth inning with a sore left wrist. Swanson felt discomfort while hitting, and Braves manager Brian Snitker removed him as a precaution. Snitker said Swanson will sit out Thursday and then be re-evaluated.
Upstart Atlanta (18-11) overtook the Mets for the division lead behind seven innings of two-hit ball from Newcomb (2-1). The 24-year-old retired his final 14 batters, struck out eight and walked none on 97 pitches.
It was the first time in his career that Newcomb completed seven innings.
"Just throwing strike after strike," Snitker said. "He could have just pitched all night because he was in sync. Delivery was working. That was good to see."
Atlanta's starters entered with a 2.67 ERA over their previous 23 games.
Sam Freeman and Peter Moylan wrapped up Atlanta's three-hitter with an inning each.
Sewald (0-2) allowed an RBI single to Freddie Freeman in the sixth and a two-run homer to Ender Inciarte in the seventh. Newcomb lined a double off the left field wall a pitch prior to Inciarte's shot to right.
Sewald gave up three runs in three innings, and Robert Gsellman gave up back-to-back homers to Johan Camargo and Ryan Flaherty during a four-run eighth.
Freeman and Nick Markakis each had three hits and an RBI for Atlanta. Baby Braves Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. both went 0 for 5.