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deGrom and the defense don’t line up, and the Mets dropped the series opener to the Padres

Despite an eight inning, ten strikeout performance from their starter, the Mets still lose.

San Diego Padres v New York Mets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Jacob deGrom took the hill for the first time since his one-inning appearance in last Tuesday’s All-Star Game and, aside from some defensive miscues behind him, deGrom continued his excellent 2018 campaign. But, because this is the 2018 Mets, deGrom’s performance wasn’t enough, and the Mets lost the game 3-2 to the San Diego Padres.

The Mets got on the board in the bottom of the third inning, when Amed Rosario dropped down a bunt for an infield hit, and then promptly stole second base. Wilmer Flores then singled up the middle, allowing Rosario to score, and putting the Mets up 1-0.

deGrom’s night got a little hairy in the fifth inning, when what should have been a fly out off the bat of Christian Villanueva turned into a two base error when Jose Bautista let the ball bounce off his glove. After stealing third, Villanueva scored on a Freddy Galvis single. Galvis then scored on a Miguel Margot triple, putting the Padres ahead 2-1.

Wil Myers was the one Padre to seem to really have deGrom’s number tonight, and he ripped a double to start off the sixth inning. Eric Hosmer then hit a slow ground ball up the middle which was totally muffed by Rosario, allowing Myers to score.

Down 3-1, the Mets came to bat against Padres starter, the master of the churve, Joey Lucchesi. Lucchesi looked solid tonight, but was on a short leash, coming out after 89 pitches in the sixth, after giving up one out singles to Bautista and Michael Conforto. Craig Stammen came in to the game with two on and one out, and struck out the slumping Devin Mesoraco.

As he is wont to do, Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with two outs, and Jose Reyes strolling to the plate. Reyes dribbled a weak ground ball into no-man’s land for an infield single, putting the Mets down by one. deGrom would ground out to end the inning.

deGrom finished his night strongly, despite a two out double by Myers in the eighth, which led to a mound visit from manager Mickey Callaway. Callway didn’t bring the hook with him, however, and deGrom finished the inning with a flourish, striking out Hosmer on a pair of wicked breaking pitches. He ended the game with ten strikeouts, two earned runs on five hits and two walks. As noted on the SNY broadcast, two runs over eight innings actually raised deGrom’s ERA.

Robert Gsellman pitched a perfect ninth inning, which may be his primary inning now that Jeurys Familia is an Oakland Athletic. The Mets got Reyes on with no outs to start the ninth, but couldn’t do anything else, and ended the game on an Asdrubal Cabrera strikeout.

Tomorrow, Zack Wheeler will face Eric Lauer in the second game of the series at Citi Field. Let’s hope the defense can handle its business better tomorrow than it did tonight.

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Win Probability Added

Mets vs Padres 7/24/18 WPA Chart

What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jose Reyes, +20.3% WPA, Wilmer Flores, +10.8% WPA
Big losers: Devin Mesoraco, -20.3% WPA, Asdrubal Cabrera, -18.9% WPA, Jacob deGrom, -18.7% WPA (hitting), Amed Rosario, -16.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jose Reyes’s infield single, +13.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Miguel Margot’s triple, -20.0% WPA
Total pitcher WPA:
Total batter WPA: -51.3% WPA
GWRBI!: No one, but Eric Hosmer hit the ball that caused the winning run to score