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Mets can’t hit their way out of a paper bag in loss to Red Sox

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Jacob deGrom fought his way through trouble, but it was all for naught.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When Jacob deGrom took the mound last night, he was following what was the greatest start of his already-sterling career. In a complete game shutout against the Nationals, he had struck out 15 and gave up only two hits. There were only a few ways he could have an even better performance, and most anything else would be seen by some as a lesser performance from him.

With these lofty expectations, deGrom made his fifth start of the season against the Boston Red Sox. Whether it was after effects of the lengths he went to in his previous start or just an off day for him, he was slightly less sharp this time around. He threw six innings with nine strikeouts, three hits, a walk, and one run allowed, which caused his ERA to jump to a whopping 0.51. He was also hurt by a misplay in the outfield by natural first baseman Dominic Smith, who missed a ball that an outfielder might have been able to turn into an out. Instead, it led to Xander Bogaerts getting to second base, which then turned into a run a couple batters later.

The Mets’ bullpen held down the fort once deGrom left the game, with Aaron Loup, Trevor May, and Edwin Díaz combining for the last three innings of the night. Other than a leadoff single allowed by Loup in the seventh inning, the three relievers held the Red Sox hitless, combining for six strikeouts among the three, with May striking out all three batters he faced.

Despite the Mets’ pitching staff putting together a spectacular nine innings of one run ball, the Mets offense was absolutely blanked at the plate. They tallied a total of two hits, to complement their fifteen strikeouts. Multiple players had two strikeouts, including Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor—who was involved in a scary moment where a ball he fouled off shot back into umpire Jerry Layne’s mask, causing him to have to leave the game in the third inning—and Dominic Smith and Michael Conforto tallied three strikeouts on the night. On the whole, the Mets’ offense looked out of sync, unable to play to the caliber expected of them, and even failing to reach mere mediocrity.

The Mets seem to have hit a skid during the early part of the season, with their wins coming in fits and starts just like their schedule. While it is early in the season, and there is still plenty of baseball left to be played, they aren’t playing very many competitive baseball games thus far. Hopefully they’ll be able to turn it around on their upcoming road trip.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Jacob deGrom, +15.4% WPA
Big Mets loser: Michael Conforto, -18.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: +27.4% WPA
Mets hitters: -77.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Francisco Lindor’s walk in the first, +5.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Christian Vázquez’s RBI double in the second, -8.7% WPA