Jacob deGrom can’t do it all as Red Sox beat Mets to sweep two-game series
For the second straight night, the loudest noise from the Citi Field crowd came in the form of boos.
The home crowd of 8,051 fans didn’t just restrict their boos for Francisco Lindor, though he heard it loudly after he struck out in the sixth. This time the jeers were aimed at Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, James McCann and just about anyone that didn’t capitalize with men on base – a trend that fans are utterly exhausted of seeing, especially when their ace is on the mound.
“The approach was just off,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said of his offense, which has scored one run over the last 21 innings. The Mets have scored the lowest number of runs (57) in MLB and have the worst slugging percentage (.353).
Jacob deGrom (2-2, 0.51 ERA) didn’t look his sharpest in the Mets’ 1-0 loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday night, but he still limited Boston’s bats to three hits over six innings and struck out nine. His lone run allowed proved to be too much for the Mets offense to overcome as the two-time Cy Young winner was charged with his second loss of the year. The Mets have lost both games in which deGrom has allowed a run this season. They are 2-3 in his starts.
The Amazin’s were swept by the Red Sox and fell under .500 with a 9-10 season record. The Mets suffered their third 1-0 loss in a game started by deGrom since 2019.
“I’m more disappointed that I wasn’t able to make pitches there in the second inning,” deGrom said when asked how frustrating his lack of run support was on Wednesday.
The Mets’ icy cold bats have done a poor job quelling concerns that the offense is struggling to snap out its funk. The lineup collected just two hits in the one-run loss, and both were singles off the bats of Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso. The offense went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.
Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta made the Mets’ at-bats look tired, uncompetitive, and monotonous. Pivetta struck out seven batters and his 15 swings and misses through five innings were the most he had in a start since 2018. Mets batters struck out 15 times against Boston’s pitching staff, the most in a game this season.
“Really, there’s no excuse,” said McCann of the offense’s 2-for-28 day at the plate. “Especially in a game like tonight, between Jake and the rest of the staff, we held them to one run. We gotta find a way to win those games. I don’t care how any one individual is feeling in the box. We gotta find a way to string hits together.”
DeGrom gave up just his second earned run of the season in the second inning. The trouble began after deGrom allowed a leadoff double to Xander Bogaerts that sailed to left field. Smith, playing left most days though first base is his natural position, made a good run for the ball before he crashed into the wall. He recovered, gathered the ball and threw to Francisco Lindor as Bogaerts pulled into second for a double.
Though Smith is playing out of his natural position for the Mets, Bogaerts’ fly ball was a tough catch for any leftfielder. DeGrom left a fastball up for the Red Sox shortstop that he barreled at 101.6 mph off the bat. DeGrom felt like he didn’t make pitches when he needed to and was highly displeased with his mechanics.
“Last start I felt really good, this one felt like I was flying open,” deGrom said. “Everything seemed to be flat.”
Boston’s only run of the night scored when deGrom gave up an RBI double to Christan Vazquez in the second that drove in Bogaerts. A combination of four Mets pitchers – deGrom, Aaron Loup, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz – held the best offense in baseball in the Red Sox to four hits and struck out 15 batters over nine innings.
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DeGrom was coming off what was perhaps the finest start of his career, a 15-strikeout two-hitter against the Nationals last week. He said that complete-game shutout five days ago didn’t impact his energy on Wednesday against the Red Sox; deGrom was just peeved by his mechanics. His 0.51 ERA is the lowest through five starts in Mets franchise history.
“If Jake deGrom doesn’t have good stuff and goes six innings, one run, nine punchies, he must be pretty darn good,” McCann said.