Jacob deGrom added to his Cy Young candidacy in D.C. on Friday night, hurling his MLB record 23rd consecutive quality start. That part isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, but what was encouraging was the Mets’ offense rewarding him with a victory, a pleasant deviation from the norm.
The Mets actually put a run on the board in the top of the first before their ace even took the mound. Amed Rosario led off the ballgame with a double and later scored on Jay Bruce hit, giving the road team the early 1-0 lead. After mowing the Nationals down 1-2-3 with a pair of strikeouts in the first, deGrom did run into a little bit of a speed bump in the second, however.
After uncharacteristically walking Anthony Rendon to begin the frame, deGrom allowed a single to Washington rookie sensation Juan Soto, placing men on the corners with no out. Ryan Zimmerman then lifted a fly ball to center field to score the tying run via a sac fly.
New York responded right away the next inning though, which was really nice to see. With one out, Michael Conforto and Bruce doubled consecutively to reestablish the Mets lead, but they were far from done in the frame. Dom Smith singled home Bruce with a third run, and after Rendon committed an error on a Todd Frazier ground ball, the inning was prolonged for Devin Mesoraco. The Mets catcher, playing in his first game in almost three weeks, pounded a double to plate Smith, and while Frazier was waved home, he was gunned down the end the inning, with the Mets up 4-1.
That would prove to be all deGrom would need as he simply took it to another level after that. The right-hander retired 15 of the next 17 Nationals batters, completing his seven-inning outing with eight strikeouts and just three hits allowed. At only 98 pitches, it was somewhat surprising New York didn’t send him back out for the eighth, instead summoning Seth Lugo for a consecutive day. While the righty did allow a pair of Washington baserunners he was ultimately able to navigate through the inning unscathed, and when the Mets failed to add an insurance run in the ninth, it was Robert Gsellman time.
The final inning was a little nerve-wrecking for the visitors dugout, when Trea Turner led off with a double, and Bryce Harper nearly got the home team within one on a long fly ball to the opposite field that ultimately fell a couple feet short of the fence and into the waiting glove of Conforto. The Mets were not out of the woods though, as Rendon came up next and promptly singled into center, scoring Turner and getting the tying run to the plate. Gsellman stepped up though, striking out Soto and getting Zimmerman to fly out to end the game.
The victory evened deGrom’s record on the season at 9-9 and lowered his Major League best ERA to 1.77. If the Cy Young race isn’t over, it honestly probably should be.
Up next New York will send Corey Oswalt to the bump opposite Tanner Roark as they look to take a thirrd consecutive contest from their rivals in the nation’s capital.