It was all Jacob deGrom, all day, as the ace pitched a one-hit shutout to claim the series for the Mets.
SOLID JOB OF HITTING
Coming off of hard-fought wins against the Cubs and the Marlins, baseball’s best and seventh-best offenses by TAv, respectively, deGrom could breathe a sigh of relief facing the Phillies, the league’s worst lineup. deGrom’s game started well enough, inducing a fly ball from Odubel Herrera on a 3-1 count before striking out Cody Asche and Peter Bourjos, each on six pitches. He would only get better as the game went on.
The Phillies trotted out Zach Eflin, a former Dodgers’ first-rounder ranked just outside Philadelphia’s top 10 prospects by BP before the season. Eflin was projected to pitch like a back-of-the-rotation starter and has more or less pitched like one in 6 starts since being called up with a 4.42 DRA. Eflin got out of the first inning easily enough, inducing flyouts from Jose Reyes, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes.
The Mets struck against the Phillies in the second, when James Loney hit a ball to Eflin that the righty knocked down then threw away to allow Loney to get around to second. Two batters later, Juan Lagares sliced a ball down the right field line for his second triple of the season, scoring Loney.
In the third, Granderson launched his 16th home run of the season, a one-out shot that probably went more than 400 feet. Can we stop for a moment to acknowledge Grandy’s absurdly low RBI/HR ratio? The guy has 16 home runs and 28 RBI. If that were prorated to 162 games, he would have 29 home runs and 50 RBI. That just wouldn’t look right on the back of a baseball card.
The Mets mounted a two-out rally in the fifth when deGrom ripped a single up the middle and hustled all the way around from first on Reyes’ shot to the left center field gap. The Mets loaded the bases after that, but couldn’t get any of them around to score.
But it didn’t matter, because deGrom was dealing. He induced a foul pop fly from Maikel Franco to start the second inning, and needed just 53 pitches to cut through the Phillies’ lineup two more times, culminating in a Franco fly ball to Curtis Granderson to end the seventh inning. Franco was on his way to being one of 11 Phillies batters to log an ofer on the day. In fact, the only batter who was able to knock a base hit was Eflin, who hit a single up the middle in the third inning.
Ryan Howard broke deGrom’s streak of ten straight batters retired when he walked in the eighth inning, but deGrom recovered by striking out Cameron Rupp and inducing a double play from Freddy Galvis.
deGrom was on until the very end, firing fastballs at his usual 93-94 even in the ninth inning as he completed the shutout. The righty’s efficiency was such that his final pitch of the game, a 95 mile-per-hour fastball that Herrera waved at, was just his 105th of the game.
– The Marlins also won on Sunday, beating St. Louis 6-3, so they’re still tied with the Mets. However, BP’s playoff odds report still gives the Mets about a 20% higher chance than Miami to make the playoffs.
– The Mets are going to Chicago today, where they’ll hope to beat up on the Cubs some more after sweeping them four straight earlier this month. Steven Matz will face Jon Lester.
Photo credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today Sports