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Jacob deGrom and Brandon Nimmo top the Dodgers

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The latest installment in the 2018 Jacob deGrom experience.

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Jacob deGrom’s inexplicable luck with wins continued, but the Mets topped the Dodgers 4-2. deGrom was brilliant for six innings, but the Mets didn’t pull ahead until the ninth inning, when Brandon Nimmo came off the bench to hit a three-run home run.

This was one of those trademark Jacob deGrom starts where he didn’t have his best stuff and succeeded anyway. In the first, he struggled to command his fastball adn snap off good breaking balls, and Justin Turner - as he always does to the Mets - made him pay. A fastball that was supposed to be inside stayed over the plate, and turner deposited it in the left field bleachers to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

From then on out, it was pretty much the standard 2018 Jacob deGrom start. While the Dodgers struggled to find any baserunners, the Mets failed to score for their ace, leaving runners on in the second and third. In the fifth, deGrom finally had enough and drove in a run himself, ripping a single into right field to score Jay Bruce and tie the game at one. It was deGrom’s second straight game with two hits and an RBI.

It wasn’t as if the Mets’ position players were doing deGrom many favors on the other side of the ball either. Todd Frazier made a fantastic play going into the stands on a pop up, then botched a simple ground ball. In the sixth, Amed Rosario couldn’t make a play on another ground ball, and that ultimately doomed deGrom’s outing. Hindered by the error, deGrom needed to throw 35 pitches to only four batters in the sixth - a testament to how good this Dodger’s lineup is - but managed to escape without allowing a run. He finished his outing giving up as many hits and runs as he accounted for himself (two and one respectively) while walking one and striking out six, holding his ERA at a sterling 1.68.

The Mets had a chance to get deGrom the win in the top of the seventh, but, as usual, blew it. Kevin Plawecki walked and Jeff McNeil singled to put runners on first and second with one out. Jack Reinheimer grounded into a fielder’s choice before Amed Rosario ripped a ground ball down the third base line. Justin Turner was there to keep it on the infield, however, and deny the Mets a run, and Austin Jackson promptly grounded out on the next play to end the threat.

More than just a frustrating inning for Jacob deGrom, the failure to score in the seventh is a great display of the Mets’ questionable roster management of late. Why is Jack Reinheimer, a non-prospect utility player, pinch hitting instead of Peter Alonso? Why is Austin Jackson, a journeyman outfielder who shouldn’t factor in the future of the team, batting second in a season that’s long since over? Both of these are fair questions with simple answers.

Seth Lugo replaced deGrom in the bottom of the seventh and worked out of some trouble, giving up a double and a single to start the inning but getting out of it with a strikeout and a double play. Drew Smith worked around a two out walk in the eighth, setting the stage for the Mets to finally break through in the ninth.

Jay Bruce led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Kevin Plawecki. a HBP brought Brandon Nimmo to the plate as a pinch hitter with runner son first and third and one out, and he worked a great at bat against Kenta Maeda before lining a three-run home run over the wall in right field. Why Nimmo is on the bench with Austin Jackson and Jay Bruce in the lineup is a mystery, but he came through when called upon and gave the Mets a 4-1 lead.

Robert Gsellman made things a bit interesting in the bottom of the ninth, giving up two hard hit singles (one of which needed to be reviewed), putting runners on first and third. A sacrifice fly cut the Met lead to 4-2, but Gsellman bounced back to induce a double play off the bat of Matt Kemp to end the game.

For deGrom, it was his 25th consecutive start allowing three runs or less, the longest such streak since 1913. It was also deGrom’s 9th start of 6+ innings while allowing one run or fewer without getting the win, the most in a single season in MLB history. Regardless, the Mets won, improving their record to 62-75 and snapping a string of twelve straight losses to the Dodgers. Jason Vargas will look to continue their recent three game winning streak tomorrow evening against Rich Hill.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jacob deGrom, +36.9% WPA; Brandon Nimmo, +27.3% WPA; Drew Smith, +10.3% WPA
Big losers: Austin Jackson, -20.2% WPA; Michael Conforto, -11.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo hits a three-run home run in the ninth, +27.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jeff McNeil grounds into a double play in the fifth, -15.1% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +43.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +6.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Brandon Nimmo