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A new offensive star, the same elite pitcher lead Mets to victory in Colorado

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Brandon Nimmo and Jacob deGrom led the way in a dominant victory over the Rockies.

MLB: New York Mets at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In their biggest offensive explosion in months, the Mets topped the Rockies 12-2. Jacob deGrom was elite again, lowering his ERA to an absurd 1.51. If the season ended today, deGrom would have the best season by ERA since 1969, topping Doc Gooden’s 1.53 mark in 1985. For once, the Mets backed up their ace, with Brandon Nimmo’s 4-for-6, two home run performance leading the way. If he qualified, Nimmo would rank third in the majors in wRC+, trailing only Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.

Things went the Mets’ way from the get-go, as Brandon Nimmo banged a fly ball off the wall in right-center field, hitting a column at a perfect angle for the ball to bounce away from Carlos Gonzalez. By the time the ball made it into the infield, Nimmo had blazed his way around the bases for a leadoff home run in front of his whole family, who made the trip from Wyoming.

Michael Conforto added another run in the second, doubling off the left field wall, stealing third, then scoring on a groundout. That run proved important, as Jacob deGrom stumbled in the bottom half of the inning, allowing two doubles that gave the Rockies the first run of the game and brought the Met lead back to one. deGrom worked around another double in the third, and the Mets added another run in the top of the fourth on a leadoff home run from Wilmer Flores.

Three runs is a mountain of support compared to what deGrom has gotten recently, but it could have been squandered if not for a stroke of good fortune in the bottom of the fourth. Trevor Story walked with one out, and Gerardo Parra followed with an absolute rocket that would have wound up in the right field corner. Wilmer Flores was there, however, snagging the line drive and making a diving tag attempt that forced Trevor Story out of the base path (a questionable call that got Colorado manager Bud Black ejected, but you won’t hear us complaining). What could have easily snowballed into a big inning was nipped in the bud, and the Mets preserved a 3-1 lead.

In Coors, no lead ever feels safe, and that made missed opportunities in the fifth and sixth sting - the Mets loaded the bases in both innings, but failed to score in either frame. deGrom was more than up the challenge, however, settling in after a shaky start and making mince-meat of the Rockies’ lineup. His perseverance was rewarded with a second home run from Brandon Nimmo leading off the seventh, stretching the Met lead to 4-1. It was the first time since April 27th, nine starts ago, that deGrom got 4 runs of support. Interestingly, it was also the second straight time a Met who has lead off the game with an inside-the-park home run has followed it up with a conventional homer - Angel Pagan did the same in 2009.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jacob deGrom start without at least one moment that made you furious on his behalf. With two outs in the seventh, Gerardo Parra reached on a infield single that Wilmer Flores couldn’t handle cleanly. Ian Desmond followed with a single into right field that Jose Bautista booted terribly, allowing Parra to score and cut the Met lead to 4-2.

Thankfully, that was the only rage-inducing moment. Devin Mesoraco got that run back and one extra with a two-run bomb in the eighth, and deGrom dominated through the bottom half of the frame to end his outing. He tossed eight innings of two run ball (one earned), striking out seven and walking one while allowing five hits.

In the ninth, the Mets put any fear of a Rockie Mountain comeback to rest. Here’s how the inning went, presented in list form:

  • Asdrubal Cabrera singles
  • Todd Frazier singles
  • Wilmer Flores grounds out softly
  • Michael Confoto is intentionally walked to load the bases
  • Devin Mesoraco walks; Asdrubal Cabrera scores
  • Jose Bautista walks; Todd Frazier scores
  • Jose Reyes grounds into a force out, Michael Conforto out at home
  • Amed Rosario doubles; Devin Mesoraco and Jose Bautista score
  • Brandon Nimmo singles; Jose Reyes and Amed Rosario score
  • Asdrubal Cabrera strikes out

Taking advantage of Jeff Hoffman’s nonexistent control and the appropriately named Brooks Pounders, the Mets scored six runs in the ninth inning, more runs than in deGrom’s last five starts combined. The outburst brought their total for the game up to twelve runs, more than deGrom’s last eight starts combined.

Paul Sewald got a chance to work through his recent struggles in the ninth, and tossed a scoreless frame despite a two-out walk. It was an exciting, refreshing win for both a team that has struggled to score and an elite pitcher that has received somewhere between ‘nothing’ and ‘nada’ in terms of run support.

Jason Vargas takes the mound tomorrow against German Marquez, with the Mets looking to stretch their winning streak to four games against a reeling Rockies team.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jacob deGRom, +38.4%; Brandon Nimmo, +17.8% WPA; Michael Conforto, +13.8% WPA
Big losers: Asdrubal Cabrera, -11.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wilmer Flores homers off of Tyler Anderson in the fourth, +9.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Gerardo Parra scores on a fielding error by Jose Bautista in the seventh, -10.1% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +38.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: +11.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Wilmer Flores