NEW YORK -- It's early. The Mets stressed that throughout their franchise record-tying 11-game winning streak, reminding themselves and others not to grow too brash. If they needed any additional reminder, Jacob deGrom's ERA provided it on Friday, bloating from 0.93 to 2.96 in a single game.
Because baseball is baseball, the Mets knew they would lose at some point, finally snapping their streak with a 6-1 loss at Yankee Stadium. Jon Niese's ejection from the dugout notwithstanding, they seemed to take it well.
"Eventually, it was going to come to an end," said outfielder Curtis Granderson, who scored the Mets' only run.
This rejiggered clubhouse has bigger things to worry about than one isolated loss. If the Mets want to go places this summer, they know, they will need to deal with far more adversity than this on a far more regular basis. deGrom tried to Friday, battling temperatures in the low-40s, a whipping wind and a shadow of his usual pinpoint command, but came away with his second defeat.
"I don't really know," deGrom said. "I just had a tough time throwing the ball where I wanted to tonight."
Matt Harvey will deal with his own adversity Saturday, facing a suddenly white-hot Yankees lineup with his sprained left ankle heavily wrapped. And it's still only April. Over the next five months, the Mets will deal with their share of cold streaks. They will endure funks deeper than the one Yankees starter Michael Pineda put them in Friday, striking out four of the first eight Mets he faced en route to 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball. They will have games in which they allow more than six runs, the first of them snapping deGrom's streak of 18 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings.
"We're surprised when Jake doesn't have his good stuff," manager Terry Collins said, "and tonight he didn't have it."
With the exception of Granderson and rookie reliever Hansel Robles, who shined in his big league debut, few Mets did. They fell behind early, never caught up and flat-out lost. Never was there a point when the Mets threatened to tie things or take the lead. Never did they seem to unsettle the Yankees. Over a 162-game season, those days happen; this one was notable only because the Mets had defied logic for so long, posting the best 16-game record of any team in franchise history.
"We talked about it for 11 days: We played very well, we executed very well and we got great pitching," Collins said. "One of the things we did during the streak was we didn't fall behind by a lot. And tonight, we did."
At 13-4, the Mets are still doing just fine. And while deGrom admitted to feeling a little extra adrenaline at Yankee Stadium, where Mets fans were well-represented amongst the 45,310 souls in the house, Collins is more interested in where the Mets wind up once the Bronx is long behind them.
"It's still April," the club's skipper said. "Let's just keep playing and don't worry where about where we're sitting right now. Let's make sure that in September, we're in a similar situation."