Mets right-hander holds Dodgers to two hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings
By Joe Trezza
NEW YORK -- Like many baseball fans, Jacob deGrom had Sunday circled on his calendar. The Mets' upstart ace has spent the last month rubbing shoulders with baseball's best, and he's spent this entire season skyrocketing up the leaderboards to join them. So when Zack Greinke, MLB's ERA leader, had his start switched from Friday to Sunday, deGrom saw another opportunity. He seized it, outdueling Greinke in the Mets' 3-2 win against the Dodgers.
"When I found out he would be pitching this game I was excited and thought it would probably be a pitchers' duel," deGrom said. "I was looking forward to that."
In a matchup of aces, deGrom and Greinke gave the 36,093 fans at Citi Field exactly what they expected. deGrom didn't allow a runner to reach second base until the eighth inning, striking out eight and lowering his ERA to 2.05 in the process. That's good for second best in baseball behind Greinke, who had his scoreless streak of 45 2/3 innings snapped by deGrom's RBI fielder's choice in the third.
"I thought it would be a close game, so I was trying to put up zeros," deGrom said. "I'm definitely enjoying it."
Still just more than 14 months removed from his Major League debut, deGrom was the talk of the All-Star Game earlier this month in Cincinnati, when he stole the show by recording three strikeouts on 10 pitches. That performance solidified to a national audience what Mets fans already know and what deGrom proved again Sunday: The Mets have something special in their lanky right-hander.
"It helped throwing those couple of days, too, rather than just taking time off and not doing anything," said deGrom.
He's come out of the break with a vengeance, pitching to a 1.32 ERA in two big starts against first-place teams. On Tuesday, deGrom delivered six innings of two-run ball in a win against the Nationals. On Sunday the results were better, and deGrom less fortunate. deGrom allowed just two hits over 7 2/3 innings before manager Terry Collins called on closer Jeurys Familia.
Familia blew the save and deGrom's chance at his 11th win, although the Mets picked up the victory on Juan Uribe's walk-off single in the 10th. But that doesn't change the fact that the second-year righty once again showed he belongs in any conversation about baseball's best.
"If the game started this morning and you said, 'What's the perfect scenario?' I would have said, 'Get us to eighth and I'll hand the ball over to Familia,'" Collins said. "That's exactly what he did."
Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.