Before his start against the Chicago Cubs Friday night, Jacob deGrom last won a game on April 30.
Drake’s “Views” was a day old. Michael Conforto was hitting .365. Ted Cruz was still running for president.
Yeah, it had been a while.
After 61 days, deGrom was once again a winner, albeit in unorthodox fashion.
The Mets’ 28-year-old righthander allowed three hits and one run and struck out seven in a five-inning outing that was interrupted by rain in the third inning and was truncated by more rain in the sixth. The Mets won, 10-2. It was their second straight victory against the Cubs (51-28), following a three-game sweep by the Nationals.
“I felt good out there,” said deGrom, who improved to 4-4 and lowered his ERA to 2.62. “It kind of stinks that you have that long rain delay, but I went back out and I felt good.”
For the Mets (42-37), perhaps the most encouraging sign from deGrom was a spike in velocity. DeGrom’s average fastball velocity has dipped from 95 mph in 2015 to 93 mph this year, but he hit 95 and 96 mph a handful of times against the Cubs.
“I think watching the video and stuff I’m finally starting to get everything in line and I’m not falling as hard off the first- base side,” he said. “I think everything is in line. I felt like I wasn’t trying to throw as hard and it was coming out better.”
DeGrom struck out four and allowed one walk through the first two innings. As he walked to the mound to begin the third with his pitch count at 38, the umpires signaled for the ground crew to pull the tarp over the infield. During a 1 hour, 8-minute delay, deGrom stayed loose throwing in the Mets’ indoor cage. He returned to the mound when play resumed at 9 p.m., the cutoff set by pitching coach Dan Warthen.
“[DeGrom] was throwing pretty good,” Terry Collins said. “He said he could go back out, and, to be honest, we needed him to give us a couple more innings.”
DeGrom remained sharp — Kris Bryant’s fourth-inning blast to left was the only blemish — while his counterpart had a night to forget. In four-plus innings, Jason Hammel allowed five home runs and 10 earned runs. Those were each career worsts for the starter, who took the mound Friday with a 7-4 record and 2.58 ERA this season.
James Loney and Asdrubal Cabrera, who homered twice, hit back-to-back solo shots in the second to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Loney doubled in two runs in the third, and Brandon Nimmo’s first career homer, a three-run shot in the fourth, extended the advantage to 7-1.
“Any time you can get runs, it’s nice,” deGrom said. “But like I’ve said, I try not to think about that. I try to go out there and put up zeroes.”
With a 10-1 lead and no outs in the sixth, deGrom allowed consecutive singles to Albert Almora Jr. and Matt Szczur as a steady rain began to fall. A 40-minute delay ensued, and deGrom — and the majority of the 34,294 in attendance — did not return. He threw 85 pitches.
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