WASHINGTON — Jacob deGrom is the last star standing. While starter after starter has gone down with injuries and even after Yoenis Cespedes left Friday night’s game with a right hamstring strain injury, the right hander has just continued to carry the Mets.
“This game is about great pitching and he is a great pitcher,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “When you are going through tough times, You want those guys out there. Those great pitchers, they stop the bleeding.”
While he can’t heal Cespedes’ hamstring or Michael Conforto’s dislocated shoulder, deGrom went out and dealt a gem against a watered-down Nationals lineup for a 4-2 win at Nationals Park.
He held the Nats to a run on five hits, he walked one and struck out 10 in 7.2 innings work. It was his ninth double-digit strikeout game of the season and his 19th of the season. DeGrom retired nine straight from the fifth, after walking pitcher A.J. Cole, to the eighth when right fielder Andrew Stevenson doubled with two outs. An RBI single to Adrian Sanchez ended deGrom’s night.
He picked up his 14th win of the season, only his second in his last six starts.
Just like the rest of the Mets season, it wasn’t easy.
AJ Ramos gave up a lead off homer to Adam Lind in the ninth and loaded the bases with one out. Brandon Nimmo made a nice running catch of Howie Kenrick’s fly ball and Ramos struck out Andrew Stevenson to end the game.
The Mets (56-71) won for the second time in their last 12 games and for just the fourth time in 13 games against the Nationals (76-49) this season.
Obviously the win was overshadowed by the loss of Cespedes.
The Mets left fielder grimaced as he neared third base and then hobbled the rest of the way home. After talking to manager Terry Collins briefly, Cespedes limped over to the dugout and hobbled down the stairs. With a short, three-man bench because of the injury to Conforto on Thursday, Collins had to switch out Cespedes for emergency outfielder Matt Reynolds.
To add insult to injury (after injury, after injury) the ruling on the field Friday was that Dom Smith’s ground ball hit an umpire’s pants and was ruled dead. Smith was given a single and the Mets’ two base runners were given a base.
So, Cespedes’ didn’t even score on the play.
Asdrubal Cabrera’s single with two on scored Brandon Nimmo in the first inning. The Mets had Nationals righty A.J. Cole on the ropes early with the bases loaded on Smith’s ground-rule single. Juan Lagares led off the eighth with a double and scored on Reynolds’ single. Reynolds scored on Smith’s sacrifice fly. Brandon Nimmo stole second with two outs in the ninth, his first career stolen base, and scored on Lagares’ single.
The Nationals, who played a late game in Houston Thursday night, had few of their regulars in the lineup Friday.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Asdrubal Cabrera’s grab of Howie Kendrick’s sharp ground ball, spinning around and throwing out the Nationals left fielder at first in the eighth.
The Mets first inning turned in their favor with Asdrubal Cabrera’s RBI-single and was another turn in their dismal season with Yoenis Cespedes leaving the game with a right hamstring strain.
STAR OF THE GAME
Jacob deGrom dominated Friday night, holding the Nationals to a run on five hits. He struck out 10, his ninth double-digit strikeout game of the season and 19th of his career.
STAT OF THE DAY
4-9. The Mets are just 4-9 against the Nationals this season.
Juan Lagares went 2-for-5, scored a run and drove in a run in the ninth inning.
AJ Ramos gave up a leadoff homer in the ninth inning to Adam Lind and loaded the bases before getting out of the jam.
Saturday at Washington, 4:05 p.m.
RHP Robert Gsellman (5-5, 5.65) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (12-5, 2.39)
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