04/17 22:29 CDT DeGrom strikes out 9 in row as Mets split with Rockies
DeGrom strikes out 9 in row as Mets split with Rockies
By DENNIS GEORGATOS
DENVER (AP) --- Jacob deGrom struck out nine straight batters against Colorado
on Saturday, falling one shy of matching Tom Seaver's major league record.
He fell short of the record and nearly missed a win.
DeGrom finished with 14 strikeouts to lead the New York Mets over the Rockies
4-3 in a doubleheader opener.
German Mrquez pitched a two-hitter for his second career complete as the
Rockies won the nightcap 7-2, stopping a seven-game losing streak and the Mets'
four-game winning streak. Josh Fuentes broke open the game with a three-run
homer in the fifth off Jacob Barnes.
DeGrom, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, wound up with a win when trailing
at his final pitch, just the third time that has happened and the first since
Seaver set the consecutive strikeouts record against San Diego on April 22,
1970, fanning his final 10 batters in a 19-strikeout performance.
"That would have been nice to reach but fell a little short," deGrom said with
Coming off a 14-strikeout performance in a 3-0 loss to Philadelphia, deGrom
became just the ninth pitcher to strike out as many as nine in a row.
"The fastball was the best weapon for him," Mets manager Luis Rojas said. "It's
special. You don't see that often. You talk about Jake getting better every
year and he goes out there, and we talked about the challenge of the weather,
so it's a little bit of a different start. He makes an adjustment and does
The streak ended in the fifth inning, when the Rockies took a 3-1 lead with
three unearned runs, but the Mets rallied to win a series opener delayed a day
by snow when pinch-hitter Jonathan Villar hit a tying double off Daniel Bard
(0-1) in the seventh inning and Dominic Smith had a sacrifice fly.
Pete Alonso had homered in the sixth to pull the Mets within a run.
By winning the opener of a doubleheader of seven-inning games under coronavirus
protocols, the Mets extended a winning streak to four for the first time since
2019. Joey Lucchesi (0-1) allowed four hits and three runs over three innings
in taking the loss in the second game.
DeGrom (1-0) allowed three unearned runs and three hits in six innings and
walked one, lowering his ERA to 0.45.
He started the streak with a called third strike against Josh Fuentes for the
first out of the second inning, then got Sam Hillard and Dom Nunez swinging.
He struck out Chi Chi Gonzlez, Raimel Tapia and Ryan McMahon in the third, and
Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon and C.J. Cron in the fourth.
Fuentes grounded an 0-1 pitch leading off the fifth and reached on a throwing
error by second baseman Jeff McNeil, ending the streak.
"I would have liked to have fielded it, but my glove hit my leg," deGrom said
of Fuentes' grounder. "That's where we had him played. McNeil was there and he
felt bad about it. I told him, ?Keep your head up,' and we ended up winning the
Detroit reliever Tyler Alexander was the previous pitcher to strike out nine in
a row, accomplishing the feat last Aug. 2 against Cincinnati.
Colorado took a 3-1 lead against deGrom later in the fifth when Nunez hit an
RBI triple, pinch-hitter Yonathan Daza hit a sacrifice fly and Tapia homered.
All three runs were unearned because of McNeil's error.
Despite deGrom's 2.03 ERA in 79 starts since the start of the 2018 season
coming in, New York was 37-42 with him on the mound.
With nine strikeouts in a row, deGrom matched the New York Giants' Mickey Welch
against Cleveland on Aug. 28, 1884, San Diego's Jake Peavy at Arizona on April
25, 2007, the Marlins' Ricky Nolasco at Atlanta on Sept. 30, 2009, the Los
Angeles Dodgers' Aaron Harang against San Diego on April 13, 2012, Detroit's
Doug Fister against Kansas City on Sept. 27, 2012, Washington's Max Scherzer
against the Mets on Oc. 3, 2015, and Alexander.
DeGrom extended his road unbeaten streak to 17 with the 48th double-digit
strikeout game for the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner.
"His fastball had life," Colorado manager Bud Black said. "His slider had a
good break down in the zone, didn't make too many mistakes with the slider. His
fastball at the top of the zone gets big league hitters throughout the National
League. That's where he gets a lot of his strikeouts, on that high fastball.
But he's able to command the corners with the heater, too."
Edwin Daz struck out the side for his first save this season.
Mrquez (1-1) struck out six with a pair of walks.
Mets starter Joey Lucchesi allowed three runs and four hits over three innings
in his first appearance since April 7 and his first start for New York.
SWING AND A HIT
DeGrom also helped himself with a single to start the third and then scored on
a single by Alonso. DeGrom has had at least one hit in each of his first three
starts. "I'm just trying to see the ball and hit it and not be an automatic
out." SWEET ENDING
Pulling out a win in the nightcap left the struggling Rockies with a soothing
feeling for the moment in the club house. "It was a good time," Fuentes said.
"It just gives us a little momentum, a little confidence."
Mets: INF Jos Peraza was optioned to the alternate training site to clear a
roster spot for J.D. Davis, who was activated from the 10-day injured list.
Davis bruised his left hand when hit by a pitch April 6 against Philadelphia.
RHP Franklyn Kilome was sent outright to the alternate training site.
RHP Marcus Stroman (2-0) starts for the Mets on Sunday and RHP Antonio
Senzatela (1-2) for the Rockies.
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