Mets fall to Cubs again after poor start to Jacob deGrom

Even with Jacob deGrom not at his dominating best, he still tied the all-time MLB record with his 39th straight start in which he allowed three earned runs or less.

Of course, the two-time Cy Young winner has now picked up a win in less than half of those outings.

The first-place Mets totaled three points in losing the first two of a three-game offside series to the Cubs, including a 4-1 loss Tuesday night at Citi Field.

DeGrom threw six 3-run innings, allowing four hits, with zero walks and 10 strikeouts, on a season-high 96 pitches. In doing so, he tied baseball’s all-time record, set by White Sox pitcher Jim Scott (1913-14), of 39 consecutive starts allowing three or fewer earned runs.

The $137.5 million right-hander was tied for the second-longest streak with Ray Washburn, who made it 38-plus straight outings with the Cardinals and Reds from 1968-70. DeGrom’s record stands at 19 -6 with 14 no-decisions during his record streak.

Jacob deGrom, who allowed two runs in the fourth inning, is heckled by a Cubs fan during the Mets’ 4-1 loss.

Pete Alonso snatched a solo homer in the ninth to prevent the Mets (89-54) from getting shutout for the eighth time this season.

After the Mets scored just two runs Monday in the series opener, manager Buck Showalter was asked before the game how long he plans to continue sticking to midseason mics in freefall Darin Ruf (not in the lineup Tuesday as he was mired in a 1-for-33 slide) and Daniel Vogelbach (0-for-3 Tuesday and in a 5-for-39 slide).

“There is a different sense of urgency. I get it,” Showalter said. “It’s not ‘I have to stay true and stay true to the guys.’ Loyal is probably the wrong word, but trust the track record, trust it at some point.

Pete Alonso throws up the bat after being walked on in the first inning of the Mets' loss.
Pete Alonso throws up the bat after being walked on in the first inning of the Mets’ loss.
Jason Szenes

“But how can it start if you don’t play them? This is why everyone is looking for a balance sheet. If they are healthy and fit, sooner or later they will trust their track record.

Of course, few players in the game have a better dominance record than deGrom. In his first seven starts since returning from the injured list for his season debut on Aug. 2, the four-time All-Star had posted the lowest WHIP (.55) and highest strikeout rate ( 41.4%) winning five of his first six decisions.

After stoking two in a 1-2-3 opening frame, the Mets thought they had scored twice in the bottom half until Alonso’s home run down the left field line was ruled. fault by video examination. Alonso slammed his bat and had words with Cubs starter Adrian Sanchez (six scoreless innings) after then being on his feet.

Lindor returns to the dugout after striking out in the third inning of the Mets' loss.
A dejected Francisco Lindor returns to the dugout after retiring in the third inning of the Mets’ loss.
Jason Szenes

Jeff McNeil, who started day three of the NL batting run at .321, had been credited with a single earlier in the inning when his grounder cut baserunner Brandon Nimmo between first and second.

The Cubs opened the scoring in the second inning on the home run to the right of Ian Happ, his 17th of the season.

McNeil also hit a two-out single to the center in the third inning, putting Nimmo up from first to third. But Sampson asked Alonso to press his first shortstop offer for a power play to end the inning.

The Cubs scored two more runs in the fourth on a sacrifice fly and safety pressure. Franmil Reyes and Happ opened the inning with singles against deGrom. Pinch hitter Michael Hermosillo tried to sacrifice the bunt, but catcher James McCann’s pitch cut first on the helmet to load the bases.

Showalter argued that Hermosillo was inside the first base line when the ball hit him, but the call was not overturned. Yan Gomes followed with a sacrificial right volley and Happ beat Alonso’s throw on Patrick Wisdom’s bunt to the first for a three-point Chicago lead.

Hermosillo made a leaping grab to the wall in the bottom half of the inning to deny Mark Canha a likely extra hit.

After that, deGrom stoked two in each of the next two innings to reach double digits for the third time in eight starts this season and the 56th time in his career.

Seth Lugo replaced deGrom in the seventh and gave up a two-out solo homer to No. 9 hitter David Bote for a 4-0 lead with the Cubs.

New York Post

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