A win by a New York Mets starting pitcher can be a rare sight, a feeling Jacob deGrom is quite familiar with at times.
The Mets will send deGrom to the mound Sunday afternoon looking for an even rarer second straight win by a New York starter when the Mets host the Philadelphia Phillies, who will start their own ace in Aaron Nola.
The Mets (18-22) are coming off a 5-1 victory on Saturday night when Seth Lugo pitched five innings and New York scored in four straight innings. Lugo’s win represented New York’s first win by a starting pitcher since rookie David Peterson on Aug. 13 and marked the fourth time in the past 10 games a starting pitcher even made it to the fifth.
“I think we played all-around good baseball tonight,” Lugo said. “I think it was a good team win. The whole team contributed today and it showed.”
The 19-game gap between wins by a starting pitcher tied the team record set in 1980 according to the Elias Sports Bureau. This year, the Mets went 8-11 while starters were 0-4 and in 1980, the Mets went 1-18 with their starting pitchers going 0-13.
In that gap, deGrom (2-1, 1.76 ERA) has two of his four no-decisions. He has 30 no-decisions since the start of the 2018 season.
He is coming off four straight starts against the Miami Marlins and accumulated 36 of his 58 strikeouts in that span. deGrom allowed seven runs (four earned) in 24 innings in those starts but took the loss Monday when he allowed four runs (one earned) on six hits in six innings.
In 15 career starts against Philadelphia, deGrom is 7-1 with a 2.23 ERA
New York is 5-14 in its last 19 games against the Phillies (19-16), who are 10-2 over their last 12 games.
Philadelphia is coming off one of its worst games of late as it struck out a season-high 13 times and did little offensively beyond Rhys Hoskins’ fifth homer in seven games.
Harper, who is 7-for-47 (.149) in his last 15 games, returned after getting Friday opener and had a rough game. He committed a mental miscue that allowed a run to score and then was ejected by first base umpire Roberto Ortiz, who will be behind the plate Sunday.
“I’ve never even gone into detail about what I usually say, but tonight I just didn’t think that was warranted,” Harper said. “I hate being thrown out of games when I believe it’s not warranted.”
Philadelphia will hope to produce a better display for Nola (4-2, 2.45), who is 8-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 14 career starts against the Mets. Nola dominated the Mets Aug. 15 when he scattered three hits and struck out eight in seven innings of a 6-2 win.
Nola followed up his start against the Mets by lasting 2 2/3 innings in an 11-2 loss at Atlanta but in consecutive starts against the Washington Nationals, the right-hander allowed two runs and struck out 17 in 15 innings.
In Tuesday’s 6-0 win over the Nationals, he threw his curveball 34 times and got 12 swings and misses on the pitch.
“You could see that his stuff was really good right from the beginning,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “Even the first fastball he threw. It started off the plate and came back.”
Nola will likely pitch to a New York lineup that includes Pete Alonso, who was rested Saturday. The Mets’ lineup against Nola may also include rookie Andres Gimenez after the shortstop drove in two runs Saturday.
“We just want to put the best team out there each day,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said.
–Field Level Media