Jacob deGrom was in the Mets’ clubhouse in the ninth inning when Jeurys Familia entered the game, presumably to finish deGrom’s 1-0 shutout of the Rockies on Thursday.
Instead, Familia’s second meltdown in two games left deGrom with a no-decision and the Mets with a jarring 2-1 loss. DeGrom gave up five hits and struck out six in seven innings. His record stayed at 6-5 as he lowered his ERA to 2.56.
“You never want to see anybody struggle,’’ deGrom said of Familia. “He’s been great all year for us. It’s unfortunate. They had a couple of guys on, were able to put a couple of runs across . . . What he’s done up to this point has been unbelievable. So you know, he knows he’s good. It’s just a couple of bad games.’’
DeGrom was coming off a poor start against the Marlins last Saturday in Miami, where he lasted only 3 2⁄3 innings and was charged with five earned runs. “I’d say that’s probably the best I felt mechanically-wise,’’ he said of Thursday’s start. “I was able to throw my changeup. I think last start against the Marlins I threw it one time.’’
Lack of run support is a constant theme for Mets starters, but the code prohibits knocking the hitters for not knocking in more runs. “Um, like I said before, my goal is to go out there and put up zeros and just keep us in a ballgame and give us a chance to win,’’ deGrom said. “You know, we had the one-run lead. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hold on to it. But the bullpen’s been great, so normally when I come out of those games, I seem to get a win.’’
Terry Collins was more blunt. “Our pitchers live on the edge,’’ he said of the poor run production. “It’s hard to do every night.’’
DeGrom had thrown 97 pitches through seven innings and was ready to go longer. “They asked me. I said, ‘Yeah, I’m good to go,’ ’’ he said. “It was a situation where we had a couple of runners on, they decided to pinch hit for me. But I was definitely ready to go more.’’
But deGrom was lifted for pinch hitter Yoenis Cespedes in the bottom of the seventh. Collins wanted to get deGrom insurance runs and Cespedes was intentionally walked to load the bases with none out. The Mets did not score.
“I guess I should be a better hitter if I want to stay in there,’’ deGrom joked of his .097 batting average.
Catcher Rene Rivera, who had three hits and drove in the Mets’ only run, felt bad for deGrom.
“It’s tough, it’s tough,’’ he said. “He did a great job out there. He kept us in the ballgame all day long. He pitched great. It’s tough when he doesn’t get the win after that performance.’’