It all appeared to be going smoothly.
Jacob deGrom gave the Mets length and was dominant, New York’s offense was strong and it looked as though the Amazin’s were en route to win No. 13.
Then it fell apart. The bullpen imploded, deGrom was slapped with a no-decision and the entire dynamic of the night changed when Washington came back from five runs down to win 8-6.
“It’s definitely tough,” deGrom said. “You’re comfortable when those guys come in. You know they’re not perfect. It’s going to happen. Tonight, we let one get away but, hey, back after them tomorrow.”
In fact, it was right to be confident in the bullpen, who entering last night had a collective 1.51 ERA. However it took a crew of players including Seth Lugo, Jerry Blevins, AJ Ramos and Jeurys Familia to record two outs.
Washington woke up and left the Mets with their tails between their legs.
It’s a shame for the Mets and deGrom that they couldn’t come away with a win when they practically had it in the bag. The right-hander threw 7.1 dominant innings and allowed three runs (just one while he was on the mound) and fanned 12 hitters. He also said he felt the best he has in any of his starts so far this year.
“Yeah, definitely,” deGrom said. “Tried to get my arm moving a little bit, tried to get it up and I felt like it made a big difference.”
A big part of his success last night was his devastating slider.
“It’s got more down to it, versus the sideways,” deGrom said. “I was kind of getting around it. I’ve been watching some video, putting some stuff side by side and I noticed a couple things and I’m trying to work on that.”
Despite the loss, deGrom managed to make history.
Each of the Mets’ last two starting pitchers has logged a double-digit strikeout game (Noah Syndergaard had 11 strikeouts yesterday). This marks the first time the Mets’ starter has whiffed at least 11 hitters in back-to-back games since Nolan Ryan and Ray Sadecki each did so in a doubleheader vs. Philadelphia on Sept. 9, 1970. (Research courtesy of Elias).
DeGrom also whiffed at least 10 batters for the 22nd time in his career (first 10+ K game this season). It was his fifth-career double-digit strikeout game against Washington, all of which have come since the start of last season.