Mets Beat Padres, But at What Cost?
Jake lowers ERA to 0.56, exits after six with right flexor tendinitis
The Mets returned home on Friday night to an as-capacity-as-you-can-get crowd at Citi Field, opening a three-game set against the San Diego Padres.
New York won, 3-2, extending their lead in the NL East to four games over the Phillies and 4.5 over Atlanta. Let’s just hope the cost of Friday night’s win isn’t too dire.
Jacob deGrom was brilliant again, getting through six scoreless with just one hit to his demerit, 10 strikeouts, and no walks, lowering his ERA to a staggering 0.56 on the year.
Jake’s whiff rates on his slider and changeup on Friday were 68 percent and 60 percent, respectively. He picked up six called strikes on his four-seamer. That’s how baffled Padres hitters were. They were stuck looking at fastballs. Unreal.
During one sequence in deGrom’s perfect, three-strikeout fourth inning, he actually tucked a 91 MPH changeup in at the hands of Fernando Tatis Jr. drawing an ugly swinging strike in the process.
I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it before over the 30-odd years I’ve been watching baseball.
In addition to his outlandish exploits on the mound, deGrom drove in his fourth and fifth runs of the season — more than the four earned runs he’s allowed this year, which is even more mind-blowing — staking the Mets to a 3-0 lead in the fifth.
Billy McKinney’s RBI double earlier in the frame scored Kevin Pillar (leadoff double; all hustle), putting New York on the board against Pads southpaw Blake Snell, who was dominant through four before stumbling.
DeGrom left after the sixth, much to the chagrin of the raucous 33,000-plus at Citi Field on Friday night, but was seen speaking with Mets trainer Brian Chicklo before exiting the dugout.
The team announced deGrom left with right flexor tendinitis in his pitching elbow. Safety first. Stay tuned. And maybe pray, if that’s your thing.
Miguel Castro entered for the seventh and did not look ready to go. Turns out he wasn’t up to snuff, either.
Castro allowed a one-out double to Tatis, followed by a monster opposite-field home run off the bat of Jake Cronenworth, cutting the Mets’ lead to 3-2 before leaving with what the team announced as neck stiffness.
Seth Lugo entered for his fourth appearance of the season (1.93 ERA), striking out Wil Myers (owner of San Diego’s only hit against deGrom) and lining out Jurickson Profar to strand Manny Machado, who walked ending Castro’s night.
Ha-Seong Kim singled off Aaron Loup to start the eighth down by a run, but the crafty veteran southpaw bounced back to strike out Victor Caratini and ate a 103 MPH hotshot off the bat of Jorge Mateo, nabbing the lead runner at second.
Mateo’s liner hit Loup in the chest, bringing the trainers out once more, and gave way to Edwin Diaz, tasked with picking up the last four outs of the game.
Mateo swiped second on Diaz’s first pitch but his second induced a drifting liner that hung up just long enough for McKinney to chase down in the right-field corner. Big out.
Diaz returned for the ninth, struck out Tatis and Cronenworth but allowed an inside-out bloop single to Machado, bringing Eric Hosmer to the plate as the go-ahead run but popped him out to close things out.
Let’s hope for the best and LFGM.
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