Jacob deGrom’s career-high scoreless innings streak ended at 27 Tuesday night when Twins catcher Mitch Garver homered to centerfield leading off the second inning at Citi Field.
Garver’s homer had an exit velocity of 104.3 miles per hour. DeGrom was hit harder than that in a shocking four-run third inning and ended up allowing three home runs and six runs in four innings as the Mets lost to the Twins, 14-8.
The 2018 NL Cy Young Award winner’s record-tying streak of 26 quality starts (six innings or more, three runs or fewer) ended in the third, an inning in which Minnesota hit a triple, a single and back-to-back home runs to score four times in a four-batter span. DeGrom shares that record with Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.
Minnesota hit six home runs and the Mets hit four – two by Pete Alonso -- in a four-hour, eight-minute game that was delayed 25 minutes at the start by light rain that was barely a drizzle.
It was deGrom’s worst start since he was charged with nine runs (six earned) in 3 2/3 innings against the Phillies on Sept. 5, 2017.
“We found out he’s human, finally,” said Mets manager Mickey Callaway. “He just didn’t have it today. He and Bob Gibson had it longer than anybody else ever in the history of the game and tonight he just didn’t have it.”
“I just couldn’t locate anything," deGrom said. "I was all over the place. Slider wasn’t even a factor ltonight. Changeup was decent at times, other times it was left in the middle. I’ve said it before, when teams can eliminate a pitch or even two, it makes it a lot easier. Missed a lot in the middle of the zone. A lot of the outs they made, they hit some balls hard.”
“Tonight’s on me. I was bad out there. That’s all there is to it.”
“This game will humble you quick. Tonight, I was bad.”
About the Gibson streak: “When it was played on the scoreboard when I was warming up, I knew. Somebody asked me about it the other day. But I wasn’t thinking about that.”
In the second, Garver hit an 0-and-1 slider over the centerfield fence. The ball bounced off the black wall to the right of the Home Run Apple and came back onto the field as Garver raced around the bases. But second base umpire Tim Timmons immediately made a whirling motion with his right hand to indicate the ball had cleared the fence.
DeGrom (2-1) last gave up an earned run on Sept. 21, 2018. The 27-inning scoreless streak is tied for eighth best in Mets history with Pat Zachry (1980). R.A. Dickey holds the club record with 32 2/3 innings in 2012.
With the score 1-1 in the third, Jorge Polanco laced a one-out triple to right-center and scored on a wild pitch. Willians Astudillo singled before Eddie Rosario launched a two-run homer to right-center. Garvin followed with a shot to left-center to give the Twins a 5-1 lead.
The Mets pulled to within 5-3 on third-inning home runs by Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto.
In the fourth, Byron Buxton doubled and scored one batter later on Max Kepler’s single to make it 6-3.
DeGrom was removed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning. His final line: eight hits, six runs, one walk, three strikeouts, 97 pitches, 64 strikes. DeGrom’s ERA went from 0.00 to 3.18.
Jonathan Schoop hit a solo homer off Seth Lugo in the sixth to make it 7-3. Alonso hit a solo shot to right in the seventh for the Mets to cut the deficit to three. Alonso has homered in three straight games.
But Alonso helped give back the run in the eighth when he let Ehire Adrianza’s grounder go under his glove for a run-scoring error. Two batters later, Polanco hit a two-run homer off Robert Gsellman to give the Twins a 10-4 lead. All three runs were unearned.
The Mets skipped Jason Vargas to keep deGrom from going a week between starts. Vargas ended up pitching the ninth and gave up four hits and four runs before getting an out. Schoop hit a three-run homer, his second home run of the night, to make it 14-4. The Twins finished with 17 hits.
In consecutive games started by Zack Wheeler and deGrom, the Mets gave up 26 runs. They fell behind 12-1 to Washington on Sunday before losing 12-9.
Alonso hit a towering two-run homer to right in the ninth for the first multi-home run game of his 10-game career. He has five home runs overall.
On Tuesday, Travis d’Arnaud started behind the plate for the Mets, his first start since last April 8 after Tommy John surgery. DeGrom threw to Wilson Ramos in his first start and Tomas Nido in his second.
Jacob deGrom’s uncharacteristic pitching line: