ST. LOUIS, MO. — Jacob deGrom doesn’t need to watch the Home Run Derby Monday night. The Mets right-hander saw one of his own Friday with the Cardinals hammering a career-high four solo shots off deGrom. But deGrom held on to give the Mets a 6-5 win at Busch Stadium.
The Mets (39-45) snapped a three-game losing streak. With the Mets’ series finale against the Nationals Wednesday rained out, they had a scheduled day off on Thursday. Friday was the first time they had played a game in over 77 hours. The extra rest – from Tuesday’s 11 a.m. game to Friday night – seemed to do the Mets good, and so did the new home-run happy game and the Cardinals’ struggles.
Jose Reyes and Jay Bruce homered for the Mets. Randal Grichuk, Paul deJong, Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko went deep for the Cardinals. Despite getting tagged for a career-high four homers, deGrom pitched a strong seven innings. He allowed just those four runs, gave up eight hits and struck out five. He did not walk a batter.
DeGrom had allowed three home runs in a game four times before Friday night, but four was a new high – or low – for him. He gave up back-to-back shots to Grichuk and deJong to begin the third inning. In the fourth, he again gave up back-to-back jacks, this time to Fowler and Gyorko.
Adding more fuel to the argument that a change in the balls or bats are leading to more home runs around baseball, is the fact that deGrom has now allowed a career-high 17 home runs in 111 innings pitched this season. That is one more than he allowed in 191.1 innings pitched in 2015.
This, however, has been the ballpark of deGrom’s nightmares since his rookie season.
Twice he’s pitched at Busch Stadium, and he couldn’t get out of the fifth innings in either of those starts. In 2013, deGrom allowed six earned runs on 12 hits in 4.1 innings work. In 2016 he allowed five runs on 12 hits in 4.2 innings work. That was his second-to-last start before he was shut down with elbow discomfort.
But Friday night, deGrom pitched fine, except for those four mistakes that the Cardinals turned into home runs. It was the bullpen that struggled. Jerry Blevins came in to face Matt Carpenter and gave up a single. He was charged with a run when Paul Sewald gave up a sacrifice fly to Gyorko
That cut the Mets lead to a run, but the Mets had given deGrom an insurance run.
Curtis Granderson scored when with the bases loaded, Carlos Martinez hit T.J. Rivera with a pitch in the first and Reyes homered to give him a 2-0 lead in the second. Travis d’Arnaud singled in Reyes, and deGrom scored on Curtis Granderson’s double in the top of the fourth.
Bruce’s homer in the fifth, his 22nd of the season, finally put the Mets ahead for good. They built on that in the seventh with Rivera doubling in a run.
PLAY OF THE GAME
With Jedd Gyorko on first base, T.J. Rivera seemed to get handcuffed by Yadier Molina’s groundball to third, but he managed to get rid of it and start the 5-4-3, inning-ending double play. Lucas Duda made a nice stretch to dig out the final out.
Jay Bruce’s fifth-inning home run gave Jacob deGrom his third lead of the game and the Mets pitcher held on to it.
STAR OF THE GAME
Jay Bruce went 3-for-5, ending up a triple shy of the cycle, hitting the go-ahead homer in the fifth. It was his 22nd home run of the season.
STAT OF THE GAME
Jacob deGrom allowed four home runs Friday night and has given up a career-high 17 in 111 innings pitched, one more than he allowed in 2016 in 191 innings pitched.
Jacob deGrom gave up a career-high four home runs, but the right-hander still pitched a solid seven innings Friday. He picked up his fifth consecutive win.
Jerry Blevins has allowed five earned runs in his last six appearances.
Saturday at St. Louis, 4:10 p.m.
RHP Zack Wheeler (3-5, 5.01) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (9-5, 5.48)
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