The storyline of the New York Mets continuing to give very little support to the best pitcher in baseball has gone way beyond comic relief and instead has moved fully into “this is just depressing” territory. It almost happened again Saturday afternoon in Colorado against the Rockies, but a seventh-inning rally salvaged the first half of their doubleheader (NYM 4, COL 3). Perhaps things will turn around now? Let’s take a look at how it unfolded.
Jacob deGrom was doing his thing. You know, where he just goes out and totally dominates his opponent. It’s pretty much every outing at this point. This time around, deGrom struck out nine straight hitters, tied for the second-longest strikeout streak in history and one shy of Tom Seaver’s record.
Here’s deGrom’s company with nine straight Ks:
Of course, for those of us who have grown accustomed to seeing the Mets screw up so many gems from deGrom, the Mets holding just a 1-0 lead was a bit worrisome. We were all sitting there waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. And then it happened. A grounder ended the strikeout streak and a throwing error from Jeff McNeil allowed a baserunner to start the fifth inning.
So the run that scored was on base via an error and the runner on third was there due to poor defense. The next batter hit a sac fly. That’s two runs that weren’t deGrom’s fault. Then deGrom made a mistake by allowing a solo homer with two outs. That one was on him.
Still, all three runs in the inning were unearned. Through six innings, the Mets were only able to provide two runs in support of deGrom in the notoriously hitter-friendly Coors Field against one of the worst teams in baseball.
deGrom’s final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 K
He now has a 0.45 ERA and the Mets were very nearly 0-3 in his starts, which was, again, a pretty depressing trend. In 2020, they found a way to go 8-4 in deGrom’s starts. A big part of that, of course, was his 2.38 ERA. That season appears to be the outlier here. In 2019, the Mets were 14-18 while deGrom posted a 2.43 ERA. In 2018, the Mets went 14-18 in deGrom’s starts while he posted a 1.70 ERA.
The most bewildering thing here was the Mets were actually — prior to the nightcap — 5-1 when deGrom doesn’t start in 2021. This entire picture made absolutely no sense and it was out-of-control ridiculous. We were witnessing an all-time great extended run of pitching and the Mets were about to be just 36-43 while deGrom is doing it.
However, Saturday was different. deGrom was due up to hit second in the top of the seventh. After a James McCann single, he was lifted for pinch hitter Jonathan Villar and the Mets came through for deGrom. Villar doubled to tie the game and, after a Brandon Nimmo infield single, Francisco Lindor singled home the go-ahead run. Edwin Diaz shut the door in the bottom half the Mets won a game that Jacob deGrom started. He even got the win.
The Mets are now 1-2 in deGrom’s starts. He’s 1-1 with a 0.45 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. It should be 3-0, but, hey, you gotta start somewhere. Maybe the Mets’ late comeback in Coors will shake the baseball Gods into shape regarding deGrom’s support.