Jacob deGrom wasn’t as his best on Wednesday night. Boy, did he struggle.
It’s just that struggling for deGrom is allowing one run in six innings to Boston, the top-scoring team in the American League.
And the way the Mets are hitting now, it was enough for deGrom to be the losing pitcher in a frustrating 1-0 defeat at Citi Field.
The Mets were held to two hits, struck out 15 times and went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position against four Red Sox pitchers as Boston swept the two-game series.
Red Sox relievers retired the final 10 Mets. Closer Matt Barnes ended the game in the ninth by striking out Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis and Dom Smith.
"It was just off," manager Luis Rojas said. "We were off . . . We’ve got to go and turn it around right now."
The Mets had seven hits in a 2-1 loss on Tuesday night.
"Really, there’s no excuse," James McCann said. "We have to find a way."
In his last outing, deGrom threw a two-hit, no-walk, 15-strikeout shutout against the Nationals. On Wednesday night, he gave up three hits, walked one and struck out nine. His ERA went up from 0.31 to 0.51 and his record fell to 2-2.
"He was tremendous — again," Rojas said. "We just didn’t back him up."
Mets pitchers struck out 15.
DeGrom opened the game by striking out Enrique Hernandez on a 101-fastball. It looked as if he was going to dominate again.
But in the second, Xander Bogaerts banged a double off the leftfield wall, Rafael Devers scorched a hot-shot to short rightfield that Jeff McNeil turned into a nifty 4-3 out, and Christian Vazquez gave the Red Sox the lead with a double to right-center off an 0-and-2, 102-mile per hour fastball.
"There in the second, didn’t make pitches when I needed to," deGrom said. "Kind of displeased with my mechanics. Last start felt I really good. This one felt like I was flying open. Everything seemed to be flat."
Proof that deGrom wasn’t at the top of his game: Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta’s 10-pitch at-bat in the third inning that ended with a strikeout, but only after five consecutive fouls.
Pivetta (3-0, 2.81 ERA) went five innings and allowed one hit, walked three and struck out seven.
Pivetta walked the first two batters in the first, including leadoff man Brandon Nimmo, who returned after missing a game following a cortisone shot in his sore right hip. But Pete Alonso struck out (for the sixth at-bat in a row), Conforto hit a flyout to left and Davis bounced into a 6-4 forceout.
The Mets didn’t have another at-bat with runners in scoring position until the sixth, when the slumping Smith was up with two on and two out against righthander Garrett Whitlock. Smith hit a ball about two feet in front of the plate and was thrown out by Vazquez.
Once again, deGrom could have sued his teammates for non-support.
"I try not to think too much about it," he said. "I’m more disappointed that I wasn’t able to make pitches there in the second inning."
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