LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jacob deGrom turned in another stellar no-decision for the Mets. Broke a couple of records, too. Yet still not a victory that might boost his NL Cy Young Award candidacy.
And don’t think his teammates aren’t feeling a little guilty.
Pinch-hitter Brandon Nimmo slugged a go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth inning, rallying New York past the Dodgers 4-2 on Monday night to snap a 12-game skid against Los Angeles.
DeGrom pitched six innings of one-run ball and drove in the tying run for the Mets, but didn’t factor into the decision. He’s 8-8 this season despite a 1.68 ERA.
DeGrom has held opponents to three runs or fewer in 25 consecutive starts, the longest single-season streak in the majors since 1913, breaking a tie with Mets star Dwight Gooden (1985).
“He went out there and pitched another gem,” Nimmo said. “It is what we come to expect from Jake every time, it is almost not fair. We expect him to go out there and pitch seven innings and give up zero or one run every time. For him to keep doing that and then not get these W’s is unfortunate.”
The loss ended the Dodgers’ three-game winning streak and dropped them out of first in the NL West. They trail Colorado by a half-game.
“Everybody knew from the beginning it was going to be a battle,” Dodgers center fielder Alex Verdugo said. “DeGrom was on today like he has been all season.”
Jay Bruce opened the ninth with a double off Kenta Maeda (8-9) and was sacrificed to third by Kevin Plawecki. Maeda hit Jeff McNeil with a pitch before Nimmo’s second career pinch-hit homer on an 0-2 pitch went over the right-field wall.
The Dodgers briefly threatened in the ninth. Newly called up Verdugo singled leading off and Cody Bellinger followed with a single that hit chalk on first-base line while eluding the glove of Wilmer Flores. Initially, it was ruled foul, but the call was overturned upon video review. Verdugo went to third and Bellinger stayed at first.
Yasmani Grandal’s sacrifice fly got the Dodgers to 4-2. Matt Kemp followed as a pinch-hitter but grounded into a game-ending double play after providing game-ending hits in the ninth the previous two days.
The Mets hadn’t beaten the Dodgers since May 27, 2016, New York’s longest losing stretch against them in team history. David Wright homered in that game and hasn’t played for the Mets since.
Drew Smith (1-0) got the win with one inning of relief. Robert Gsellman worked the ninth for his 10th save.
The Dodgers have scored three runs or fewer in their last six games.
Justin Turner went deep in the first to put the Dodgers up 1-0, just the ninth homer off deGrom this season.
DeGrom allowed two hits. He struck out six – snapping a run of six straight starts with at least nine – and walked one. His 20 straight quality starts are the longest active streak in the majors and the longest in franchise history.
“I honestly have not been looking at stuff like that, just trying to get ready for my next start,” he said about his two records. “I am out there trying to put this team in a position to win. I don’t like giving up runs.”
As if his pitching isn’t enough, deGrom is contributing on offense, too. He was 2 for 2, and his two-out RBI single in the fifth drove in the Mets’ first run in his second straight multihit game.
“Just trying to do my part anyway I can,” he said.
The Dodgers ran up deGrom’s pitch count in the sixth when he needed 34 pitches against the heart of their order. After deGrom struck out Joc Pederson, Turner worked a 12-pitch at-bat into putting the go-ahead run at first on an error by shortstop Amed Rosario. DeGrom struck out Manny Machado on seven pitches and Max Muncy grounded out to second to end deGrom’s outing.
“He has been the best pitcher in all of baseball,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “He doesn’t pitch for himself, he pitches for the team and that is why he has been able to do what he has been able to do.”
With Seth Lugo pitching in the seventh, the Dodgers had runners at the corners with one out. Verdugo doubled leading off and Bellinger followed with a single to set up Yasiel Puig. But he grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Los Angeles had runners at second and third with two outs in the eighth when Enrique Hernandez flied out to center.
Dodgers starter Alex Wood gave up one run and five hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Mets: C Devin Mesoraco singled in the fifth and then left the game after sustaining neck and back stiffness on his swing. He’s day-to-day. … INF David Wright, trying to come back after surgeries on his neck, right shoulder and back in addition to chronic spinal stenosis, will continue taking ground balls and hit in the cage. Without more minor league games for him to play in, manager Mickey Callaway says the team will need to get creative in offering Wright game-like situations. Callaway was non-committal about the possibility of Wright being activated during the next homestand, saying he will be re-evaluated on a daily basis.
Dodgers: They’re evaluating whether closer Kenley Jansen will make the trip to Colorado on Friday. He experienced an irregular heartbeat and went on the 10-day DL during his last visit. If doctors say the high altitude could affect him, he would likely stay back. … RHP Walker Buehler, who experienced muscle spasms in his left foot during Sunday’s start, had precautionary X-rays that were negative. He expects to make his next start.
WINLESS VS LA
DeGrom has yet to beat the Dodgers in eight career starts. He’s 0-4 with a 3.20 ERA and has held their hitters to a .190 average, while striking out 50 and walking 17.
LHP Jason Vargas (5-8, 6.56 ERA) starts for the Mets on Tuesday. His three-game winning streak is his longest since taking four in a row last September. He recently notched his 1,000th career strikeout. LHP Rich Hill (6-5, 3.59) goes for the Dodgers. In five starts against New York, he is 1-2 with a 7.66 ERA, averaging 11.28 strikeouts per nine innings.
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