CINCINNATI — In what has been a dominant season, Jacob deGrom endured one of his more mundane outings Thursday in the Mets’ 7-2 loss to the Reds. Scooter Gennett had a two-run homer and a run-scoring double against deGrom, who surrendered four runs (three earned) in six innings.
But deGrom increased his innings total to 178 2⁄3, the most in the National League. Reaching 200 innings for the first time has been a stated goal for deGrom, a former Rookie of the Year and All-Star who surely will receive Cy Young Award votes. The target of 200 seems well within reach.
“Guys who are normally the best in the game pitch 200 innings, so that’s one of my goals this year,” he said.
That durability has put deGrom on track to become only the fifth Met to lead the league in innings pitched, joining Dwight Gooden (1985), Frank Viola (1990), Johan Santana (2008) and R.A. Dickey (2012).
With the Mets (58-75) long out of contention, it appears as if deGrom will be allowed to pitch without restrictions in September.
“The one thing we know is he grinds it out like he did today,” manager Terry Collins said.
The 29-year-old righthander has pitched like an ace, and from a financial standpoint, a productive closing stretch could help him get closer to getting paid like one. He stands to earn a hefty raise in arbitration over the $4.05 million he is making this season, and every milestone only adds to his value.
With five strikeouts, deGrom brought his total to a career-high 206, eclipsing the 205 in his All-Star season of 2015. He needs one victory to set a career high. He’s 14-8 with a 3.43 ERA, the shining light in a season in which the rest of the rotation has been crushed by injuries.
Relief work in Houston. Mets players have expressed interest in getting involved in Hurricane Harvey relief work during Friday’s off day in Houston, although they want those efforts to be low-key.
“One of the things we talked about [Wednesday] as a team is that it’s not a publicity stunt,” Collins said. “We don’t want any cameras, we don’t want any stuff written, we just want to go help out. All the stuff that these guys are going to do or I’m going to do is pretty much an individual thing.” Players still were exploring options as of Thursday afternoon.
Notes & quotes: Jeurys Familia’s fastball hovered around 93 mph Thursday, 4 mph off his top of 97 in his previous outing Tuesday night. Collins said the drop-off was a matter of getting back into form. Familia worked two-thirds of an inning in the seventh in relief of deGrom in his third appearance since coming off the disabled list. He allowed Joey Votto’s 34th homer. Said Collins: “It shows you that he’s rusty.” . . . Travis Taijeron singled in the fourth for his first big-league hit.