Here’s what Jake Odorizzi took from his Braves debut

NEW YORK – In Jake Odorizzi’s Braves debut, the Braves lost the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader to the Mets 8-5.

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Here are five observations:

1. At one point, Odorizzi talked to his infielders. His message: “Hey, it’s my bad on this.”

He was not efficient or sharp. He knew he kept the infielders standing out in the heat for a long time – the same heat that became a factor in his hamstring cramping in the fifth inning. Over 4-2/3 innings, he allowed three runs, two earned (though the unearned run was because of his error).

“I think a lot of it was I just wasn’t in the zone enough,” said Odorizzi, who threw 96 pitches. “Being too fine early on, getting behind guys and then uncompetitive pitches up out of the zone. I do a good job at the top typically, but if I’m above the zone, bringing it down into the zone in a hitter’s count is not as productive for me.

“Just not happy with my execution on a lot of pitches today. Maybe I put too much stress on myself to try to go out and execute in my debut, do really well. A culmination of those types of things, but I just didn’t execute as many pitches as I should’ve today.”

The Mets scored two runs in the first on run-scoring singles by Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach, then another in the third on Jeff McNeil’s RBI single. The runner who scored in the third was in position to do so because of Odorizzi’s errant pickoff attempt to first base.

“I’m not happy with it,” Odorizzi said. “I’m happy about some of the damage control. ...Moving forward, 20 pitches in an inning is not what we’re looking for in any stretch of the imagination.”

2. In the Braves’ July meeting with David Peterson, they chased him when Matt Olson hammered a go-ahead home run. In this matchup, Peterson struck out Olson to begin the sixth, ending his afternoon.

The Braves didn’t score any runs off Peterson over 5-1/3 innings. The Braves have scored two runs against Peterson in his past two starts, or 10-2/3 innings, against them.

“I think the last two times, he’s thrown really well against us,” Matt Olson said. “Threw a sinker at 99 (mph) to me in my first at-bat. … He’s a big guy with long arms, fastball gets on you pretty good. Good slider when he locates it. He was clearly on today and had some good stuff.”

Peterson isn’t even one of New York’s top starters.

“He’d be in a lot of rotations,” manager Brian Snitker said.

The Braves broke through in the seventh inning on run-scoring singles by Ronald Acuña and Olson. But those did little to change the outcome because of what occurred before and after.

Mets 8, Braves 5 (box score)

3. In the sixth inning, with the Braves down three runs, Tyler Matzek got two quick outs. Then he found himself in trouble because he issued consecutive walks when the lineup turned over.

The knockout punch came when Francisco Lindor hammered a two-run double off the center-field wall that was inches from being a three-run homer. It put the Braves behind by five runs.

Snitker eventually summoned Bryce Elder, whom the Braves chose as their 27th man for the doubleheader. New York’s three-run seventh inning against him made this a blowout.

The Braves, however, force the Mets to use star closer Edwin Diaz because they scored three in the ninth.

4. Odorizzi shook off catcher William Contreras a decent amount of times – enough for Olson to notice from first base. But this was not for the reason you might think.

Odorizzi was not upset with Contreras’ pitch calls. He simply felt he was getting the ball, getting set and throwing the pitch in too much of a rhythm.

“We were on the same the majority of the game,” Odorizzi said. “I just wanted to slow down the pace a little bit because I thought they were getting pretty comfortable with a rhythm at the plate, and trying to throw things off. And I explained that to him, too. I didn’t want him to get discouraged by a lot of shakes and that sort of thing as a young guy.”

5. The Braves acquired Robbie Grossman in large part because he could hammer left-handed pitching. Thus far, he’s doubled twice.

But both have come versus righties.

The Braves’ analytics team saw something in Grossman’s swing they felt could help him hit righties better.

Stat to know

.500 - Acuña was batting .500 through the first three games of the series.

Quotable

“I thought they did a good job in that first inning of just putting balls in play. They found holes, they swung the bat and made contact. I think that’s what good teams typically do, is they grind out at-bats, they put the ball in play. And whenever you put the ball in play, things can happen.” − Odorizzi on the Mets

Up next

After Saturday’s games, hard-throwing righty Spencer Strider will face the Mets’ Jacob deGrom in Sunday’s series finale. The game will begin at 4:10 p.m.