Jacob deGrom was likely abducted by aliens Wednesday night and replaced in his body by Rafael Montero, because it seems implausible the Mets ace could have pitched this poorly.
This was deWorst.
On a night even venerable team mascot Mr. Met snapped, extending an obscene gesture to some fans, deGrom was shellacked for seven runs over four innings in a 7-1 loss to the Brewers at Citi Field that snapped the Mets’ three-game winning streak.
“Just all-around a bad job by me,” deGrom said. “I am really frustrated with this one.”
The Mets could have used a performance in which deGrom worked deep into the game, a night after needing 12 innings to beat these Brewers. Instead the game was handed to Josh Edgin in the fifth, and the lefty worked three scoreless innings to save the bullpen from exhaustion.
DeGrom (4-2) struggled with his control, walking five batters and allowing eight hits over the four innings, including two home runs. He was removed at 105 pitches after barely remaining in the game to complete the fourth.
In his previous start, against the Pirates, deGrom became the first Mets pitcher this season to work into the ninth inning. In the 8 ¹/₃- inning performance — which consisted of 118 pitches — he allowed only one run on six hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
“Sometimes your arm doesn’t bounce back that fast when you were stretched out,” manager Terry Collins said, noting deGrom’s pitch count against Pittsburgh. “There is a chance he just didn’t have enough rest.”
But Collins said he wasn’t second-guessing his decision to let deGrom pitch into the ninth inning previously.
“He was fine, but sometimes when you do that the next start isn’t as sharp,” Collins said.
DeGrom wasn’t buying into the notion he might have been fatigued.
“I felt fine all week, the past four days getting ready for this start,” he said. “I was just bad.”
That outing in Pittsburgh began a streak for the Mets. Over the next four nights, Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Robert Gsellman and rookie Tyler Pill all had respectable outings, reducing the strain on Collins’ beleaguered bullpen.
Wheeler will get the start Thursday, as the Mets (23-28) will attempt to escape with a series victory before the Pirates arrive a day later. In his last start, the righty Wheeler went six innings and allowed three earned runs against the Pirates, receiving a no-decision after Addison Reed blew the save in the ninth.
DeGrom was finished after a hellacious fourth inning in which the Brewers sent eight batters to the plate and scored four runs. Jesus Aguilar’s RBI double put the Mets in a 4-0 hole before Hernan Perez stroked a two-run single. Before the inning was complete deGrom unleashed a wild pitch that helped the Brewers score their fourth run of the inning, on Manny Pina’s RBI ground out. But the wreckage started early, with Eric Thames’ two-run homer in the first inning after deGrom had walked Eric Sogard leading off the game.
Keon Broxton’s homer leading off the third increased the Mets’ deficit to 3-0. The blast was the sixth allowed by deGrom over his past five starts.
DeGrom’s only scoreless frame was the third, but it was hardly a clean inning: The Brewers stroked two singles before deGrom escaped trouble.
“He was missing a little bit, both sides of the plate, and we tried to get him in,” catcher Rene Rivera said.
The Mets went quietly against Brewers starter Junior Guerra, who pitched six shutout innings in which he allowed four hits. Rivera’s double leading off the seventh inning was the Mets’ first extra-base hit of the game on a night the previously humming lineup was quiet.
The Mets entered play third in the National League in scoring for May, even with Yoenis Cespedes on the disabled list for the entire month.
Michael Conforto’s RBI double in the ninth gave the Mets their only run.