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SportsColumnistsAnthony Rieber

Jacob deGrom didn’t have worst night for a Mets employee

Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets looks

Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets looks on after surrendering a run in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Credit: Jim McIsaac

There’s one silver lining for Jacob deGrom after Wednesday night’s start that even he called “honestly, terrible.”

That’s not the first thing people are going to be talking about Thursday when it comes to the Mets.

In the aftermath of the Mets’ 7-1 loss to the Brewers at Citi Field, a fan posted a video in which beloved team mascot Mr. Met was shown making an obscene gesture.

That’s an odd sentence to read, no? Trust us, it’s never one we’d thought we’d be writing after a baseball game.

As these things do nowadays, the very short video quickly went viral. As deGrom was discussing his outing, in which he allowed seven runs in four innings, Mets personnel were beginning to realize the image of deGrom walking off the mound was soon going to be eclipsed by another image.

Mr. Met’s unfortunate interaction with a fan. Not Amazin’.

The Mets, to their credit, quickly regrouped and issued a statement:

“We apologize for the inappropriate action of this employee. We do not condone this type of behavior. We are dealing with this matter internally.”

Mr. Met’s misstep came at the end of a night that began with the Mets feeling so good about themselves after three wins in a row that Terry Collins was willing to make a Yoenis Cespedes golf joke before the game.

Then deGrom went out and walked the first batter and gave up a two-run homer to the second. By the end of four innings, deGrom had allowed seven runs and the Mets were forced to dip into their exhausted bullpen to pitch the final five innings.

That’s been the story of this year’s team through the first two months of the season. As the calendar turns to June, the Mets are searching for two things: an ace and a long winning streak. The two items are not unrelated.

The Mets went into Wednesday night thinking deGrom had taken the steps in his last two outings to be the beast of the rotation. So much for that idea.

Noah Syndergaard was the unquestioned ace to start the season, but he’s injured. It might one day again be Matt Harvey, but he’s fighting himself too much right now. It can’t really be Thursday afternoon’s starter Zack Wheeler after two years away from the mound.

In his last two, deGrom gave up one run and 10 hits in 15 1/3 innings with four walks and 19 strikeouts. With the Mets having played 12 innings on Tuesday night and their bullpen already on fumes, Collins seemed justified in thinking he could count on the floppy-haired righthander for seven strong, at least.

Instead, deGrom was using shampoo and conditioner on that hair before the fifth inning. Yes, because he hit the showers. Try to keep up.

Collins threw deGrom a possible excuse when he pointed out that he threw 118 pitches in his last outing and might have been fatigued. DeGrom, to his credit, swatted that away.

“I don’t think so. I was just bad tonight,” deGrom said. “I couldn’t throw the ball where I wanted to . . . Just an all-around bad job on my part.”

That was before deGrom walked Eric Sogard to open the game and then allowed a two-run home run to Eric Thames. That was before Keon Broxton led off the second with a long home run to make it 3-0 and before Milwaukee scored four runs in the fourth.

The details of the fourth inning are covered elsewhere in this periodical, but suffice it to say walking off the mound with a 7-0 deficit wasn’t what deGrom expected.

But at least there’s another Mets employee who had a worse night.

New York Sports