Jacob deGrom continued his Cy Young campaign, leading the Mets to a 3-1 win over the Phillies. The stellar right-hander tossed a complete game, allowing only one unearned run and striking out nine while walking none. Jeff McNeil led the offense with two singles, a triple, a run, an RBI, his first major league steal, and a stellar defensive play on a ball hit to his right.
The Arrieta-deGrom matchup lived up to the billing early, as the Mets and Phillies traded zeros for the first three innings. Jeff McNeil was the catalyst when the Mets finally broke through in the fourth, singling to lead off the inning and going to third on a thrown away pick-off. Wilmer Flores quickly drove him in with a single, and the Mets had given deGrom a 1-0 lead.
He almost didn’t get a chance to work with it. Dark clouds descended on Citizen’s Bank Park, and the game went into a rain delay. Regardless, deGrom simply wasn’t coming out of this game, and got right back to dicing up the Phillies as soon as the tarp came off the field. Through the first six innings, he held the Phillies off the board, preserving the 1-0 lead he was handed.
deGrom’s dominance also allowed him to outlast Jake Arrieta, who the Mets could not get to for an insurance run. Arrieta departed for the seventh, however, and Devin Mesoraco got the Mets some cushion with a solo home run to left-center off of Luis Garcia. After deGrom struck out, a single from Amed Rosario and a triple from Jeff McNeil stretched the Met lead to 3-0.
Things got momentarily dicey in the bottom of the seventh, with one out singles from Nick Williams and Maikel Franco bringing the tying run to the plate in Odubel Herrera. Of course, it’s Odubel Herrera, so something wacky was bound to happen. Herrera hit a soft ground ball to first, and Wilmer Flores attempted to start a double play and threw to second. Amed Rosario’s return throw to Jacob deGrom covering first was a bit wide, and the ball went to the screen. Williams scored (an unearned run, with the error charged to deGrom for a missed catch), but Herrera moved towards second, meaning he could be tagged out. Herrera appeared to beat deGrom’s to first, but a review showed that Jeff McNeil’s foot blocked Herrera’s head-first slide, and he was called out to end the inning.
The Mets didn’t do anything else on offense the final two innings, and deGrom easily navigated a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth to set up a chance at a complete game. Once again, things got a touch dicey, with a lead-off single from Carlos Santana bringing the tying run to the plate. The best pitcher in baseball was up to the challenge, however, inducing a double play from Wilson Ramos and then throwing his three hardest pitches of the game to get a game-ending groundout from Nick Williams.
It was deGrom’s third career complete game, and his first on the season. He also crossed the 200 strikeout threshold for the third time in his career, while earning his third consecutive victory to improve his record to 8-7 on the season. He has the best ERA and FIP in the National League 1.71 and 2.08 respectively. By nearly every relevant metric, deGrom is the front runner, and it’ll be a damn shame if he’s robbed of the award because the Mets spent most of the year not scoring runs for him.
The win improves the Mets to 53-69, putting them on a 70 win pace. Tomorrow evening, they’ll finish their five game set with the Phillies at the Little League World Series in Williamsport with Jason Vargas on the mound.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jacob deGrom, +56.3% WPA; Jeff McNeil, +23.9% WPA
Big losers: Austin Jackson, -13.6% WPA; Jose Bautista, -12.8% WPA; Michael Conforto, -10.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wilson Ramos grounds into a double play in the bottom of the ninth, +17.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Carlos Santana singles to center field leading off the bottom of the ninth, -9.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +56.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: -6.3% WPA
GWRBI!: Devin Mesoraco