The Cubs came to Citi Field for the first time since winning the World Series, but Jacob deGrom and the Mets had no issues handing the defending champs a 6-1 loss.
deGrom took to the hill in desperate need of a good start. His last two starts were among the worst of his career, and fans were left with the image of the defeated righty looking lost in the Texas dugout with his manager’s arm around his shoulder. With the two ugly starts in the past, the deGrom of old was on the mound at Citi Field, not in terms of pure stuff, but in terms of the icy determination that has become his trademark.
The Cubs got baserunners, so deGrom was not overpowering, but he limited the damage every time. It just so happened to be the anniversary of the Luis Castillo dropped ball, and the first time he got into real trouble was when Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes crashed and dropped an easy pop-up to start the second. Unlike in Texas when missed plays seemed to rattle deGrom, he remained steady and got through the inning without allowing Jason Heyward, who had had it, to advance from second.
In every inning from the third through the sixth, the Mets turned a double play behind deGrom, and both Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera made nifty plays behind him in the seventh. Cabrera’s had to be challenged by Terry Collins since the call on the field was that Javier Baez was safe at first. After the challenge, the call was overturned which turned out to be a crucial decision. One batter later, Addison Russell hit a solo home run for deGrom’s only blemish on the night.
deGrom’s previous best start this season came against the Pirates when he pitched into the ninth inning but was unable to complete it. This game would have a different outcome, as he was able to not only finish the ninth, but finish it with a strikeout of Willson Contreras. He had command of all of his pitches almost the entire night and kept everything down to the Cub hitters. Walks were still a little bit of an issue, but this is a Cub lineup that still has the potential to be very dangerous, and the walks did not come back hurt the righty. He finished with six strikeouts and four walks and allowed just the one run. Overall, it was a much-needed performance for deGrom, the Mets, and their fans.
Asdrubal Cabrera is another Met that was in need of some redemption, especially after the play in the second inning. He more than made up for it when he hit two home runs against Cubs starter John Lackey. In the first inning, a couple of Mets hitters hit some balls that were caught right at the wall, but after the second, the balls had no trouble finding their way over the wall. Cabrera hit two and Jay Bruce hit a laser for a two-run shot in the third. Bruce had a good night at the plate overall and ended up a triple shy of the cycle.
The Mets tacked on a couple of runs in the 9th when both Travis d’Arnaud and Jose Reyes got RBI hits. The insurance runs made it easier for deGrom to go the distance, and once again the Mets got the win behind a strong pitching performance.
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Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jacob deGrom +29.9%, Asdrubal Cabrera +15.6%
Big losers: None
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce home run in third
Teh sux0rest play: Jayson Heyward reaches on error in second
Total pitcher WPA: +29.2%
Total batter WPA: +20.8%
GWRBI!: Jose Reyes