Jacob deGrom came out flashing the form that has made him the favorite for the National League Cy Young award this year early, striking out six of the first seven batters he faced. However, a rough third inning for deGrom put the Mets into an early hole from which they would draw even, but never move ahead as the Red Sox would break the tie against the Mets bullpen in their 4-3 victory.
deGrom started that third inning by striking out Jackie Bradley, Jr., but found himself in trouble shortly thereafter. Rafael Devers singled on an 0-2 count, followed by a nicely-executed hit-and-run single by Christian Vazquez to put runners on first and third. Mookie Betts followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center field to plate the first run of the game.
Just when it seemed as if deGrom would escape with only one run, Brock Holt took a hanging slider into the Red Sox bullpen—only the tenth home run surrendered by deGrom on the season—to put the Mets in a 3-0 hole after three innings.
Meanwhile, deGrom’s Cy-contending American League counterpart Chris Sale was crisp and efficient over his three scheduled innings. Sale threw 42 pitches and allowed only one hit in his second appearance since coming off the disabled list as he attempts to round into postseason form.
The Mets started to see some opportunities against the Boston bullpen once Sale departed, as deGrom unsurprisingly righted the ship, keeping the team in the game. New York got two on with two out in the fourth, but Todd Frazier—who had a rough game at the plate—fouled out to Devers to end the threat.
The Mets finally broke through in the sixth. Austin Jackson dumped a single into left-center, then Amed Rosario launched a double about three-quarters of the way up the Green Monster, puttinr runners at second and third. Jackson scored on what seemed like an ill-advised tag up on a shallow Wilmer Flores fly out to right—a play which ultimately saw Betts leave the game with a sore left side. Conforto then doubled to center to score Rosario and trim the deficit to one.
The team scratched across a run to tie it in the seventh. After the first two batters reached on a walk and hit by pitch, the team almost squandered the opportunity, as Kevin Plawecki struck out and Jackson flied to shallow right. However, Rosario picked up his teammates—and got deGrom off the hook for his tenth loss—with an RBI single lined up the middle.
deGrom worked around a walk and stolen base in the seventh, giving the Mets one opportunity to get him the lead. Wilmer Flores worked a leadoff walk, but pinch-runner Jack Reinheimer erased that—and the Mets last opportunity—by getting picked off of first base.
Seth Lugo came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth and surrendered a leadoff double to Tzu-Wei Lin. Lin came around on a pair of productive outs, as Holt flew out to center and Andrew Benintendi followed with a sacrifice fly that plated the deciding run.
The Mets dropped the game and the series to the MLB-best Red Sox, dropping their record on the season to 69-80, meaning it only will require a season-ending 13 game winning streak to finish above .500. Meanwhile, deGrom continues to mark impressive milestones—despite a lack of support from his teammates—as his Cy Young pursuit continues. His seven inning, three run, 12 strikeout performance marked his 27th straight start allowing three runs or fewer, and the game marked deGrom’s 22nd consecutive quality start, tying an MLB record.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Amed Rosario, +26.6% WPA, Brandon Nimmo, +14.2% WPA
Big losers: Kevin Plawecki, -22.5% WPA, Seth Lugo, -21.0% WPA, Jeff McNeil, -18.8% WPA, Todd Frazier, -15.7% WPA, Austin Jackson, -14.2% WPA, Jack Reinheimer, -11.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Amed Rosario’s RBI single in the seventh inning, +19.4%
Teh sux0rest play: Brock Holt’s two-run home run in the third inning, -17.0%
Total pitcher WPA: 15.3% WPA-
Total batter WPA: 34.7% WPA-
GWRBI!: Andrew Benintendi