Jacob deGrom pitched and batted the Mets to a healthy lead and then the team had to sweat out some shaky bullpen deployment and performances the final two innings before emerging with a 6-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader against the Marlins Monday.
deGrom had trouble early. He got out of the first inning thanks to a close call at third base going the Mets’ way. Originally ruled an out, it sure looked like the runner was safe on replay. The Marlins challenged and the call was upheld. He gave up a run in the second and the third didn’t start off good, either. But then he found a groove and retired 15 of the final 16 batters he faced.
After seven innings, deGrom had thrown 94 pitches and the Mets had an interesting choice to make. With how well he was throwing, it’s likely that deGrom could have pitched the eighth and come away with an outing with fewer than 110 pitches. With a second game coming later in the night, there was a certainly a case to be made to send him back out.
But do you really want to go to the whip with deGrom against the last-place Marlins? Mickey Callaway decided to turn the game over to the bullpen. After not using him with a one-run deficit the other night, Callaway called on Justin Wilson with a four-run lead. Wilson got out of the inning with the lead intact and Edwin Diaz was picked to finish the game. Of course, Diaz allowed the first batter to reach base and pitched defensively the entire inning. Seth Lugo warmed up in case he was needed and Gary Cohen speculated that Lugo, who warmed up twice in this game, would not be available in the nightcap. I don’t agree with that speculation, but it is something to keep in mind while the second game unfolds.
Jeff McNeil hit a home run on the first pitch from the Marlins’ rookie pitcher. Amed Rosario also went deep in the game to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. deGrom delivered a two-run single in the fourth inning and the Mets’ final two runs came in the fifth, the first on an RBI hit by Pete Alonso and the second on a SF by J.D. Davis.
Walker Lockett gets the call for the Mets in the second game.