Well we can’t say “same old Mets” after Monday night’s 5-3 come-from-ahead loss in Philadelphia because we know the same old Mets would win their first game and then swoon before the solstice. And I’m not calling it Opening Day when we’re playing at night and the Phillies are starting Matt Moore. The game shouldn’t even count against the Mets’ Opening Day record in my opinion! Either way, it was an ugly way to start the season.
Jacob deGrom was his typical self, striking out seven and allowing just five Phillies to reach base in six innings. He even got some help from the defense early on when Kevin Pillar connected with Jeff McNeil on a relay throw to turn a long ball off the wall by Rhys Hoskins into an out at third base. That missed opportunity by the Phillies looked like it would lead to their downfall, but the Mets’ defense would pay them back with interest later in the game.
Maybe the defense wouldn’t be as much of an issue if deGrom were allowed to pitch more than six innings, but Luis Rojas lifted him after just 77 pitches. The skipper said the decision was based on the uncertainty in the Mets’ schedule caused by the Nationals becoming infected with COVID-19.
“Going out for the six innings and you guys saw the activity on the bases. And he hasn’t thrown in 10 days. So the conversations in between innings with him led us to make the decision of pulling him,” Rojas told reporters via Zoom following the Mets’ 5-3 loss to the Phillies. “…I know he was way under than what he’s built up leaving camp. But maybe the 10 days without throwing led to the decision during the game.
deGrom was on board with everything, so please stop the victim narrative around him.
“That was kinda discussed where we’re going to be before,” deGrom said. “10 days without facing hitters, kept trying to throw bullpens but didn’t want to throw too many pitches with the hope of playing Saturday and then finding out that series is canceled so that was the last time I was able to throw. So it was kind of a how many ups thing, how many pitches not being in a game facing hitters for 10 days.”
I’d be more mad, but it seems every pitcher in baseball is leaving the game after 80 pitches and 5.2 innings these days. I will also hold back my rage to see if deGrom is ramped up in his next start, which he should be, because I am designated it as a MUST WIN GAME.
Anyway, the Mets were stymied by Matt Moore early on, but they rallied in the fourth when Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis started the inning with walks. James McCann drove in one run with his first hit as a Met, and deGrom hit a blooper to left to score another. The rally was cut short when Brandon Kintzler relieved Moore and got Kevin Pillar to ground into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.