By Joe Rini
NEW YORK, Aug 13 — Riding a dominant Jacob deGrom, the New York Mets edged the Philadelphia Phillies 1–0 at Citi Field on Saturday. With their victory, the Mets maintain their 5 1/2 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The loss drops the Phillies to 10 1/2 back in third place. The Mets and Phillies will square off Sunday in the rubber match of the weekend series.
Mets Take Early Lead
The Mets jumped to the early lead with a run against Aaron Nolan in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Starling Marte lined a single to right field. After three unsuccessful pick-off attempts at first base, Marte stole second on a called third strike to Francisco Lindor, and advanced to third on J.T. Realmuto’s throwing error. Pete Alonso quickly cashed in Marte with a two-out line drive single to right field and the Mets led 1–0. Nola subsequently found his groove after pitching out of a jam in the second inning. Pitching a complete game, he retired 17 Mets in a row and kept the game at 1–0 through eight innings.
Dominant Jacob deGrom
The sellout crowd of 43,857 at Citi Field buzzed with each pitch deGrom hummed at the Phillies. Reaching triple digits on the radar gun, the two-time Cy Young Award winner held the Phillies scoreless, striking out ten batters, walking no one, and allowing only two singles. However, given the Mets’ caution with deGrom in only his third start of the season, his night ended after six innings and 76 pitches.
Diaz Tiptoes to Save
Seth Lugo and Trevor May pitched two scoreless innings in relief of deGrom setting up Edwin Diaz for the save. Diaz climbed the pitcher’s mound to the trumpets of “Narco”, but tiptoed through the Phillies to pick up the save. Pitching like a mere mortal in contrast to his recent otherworldly outings, Diaz walked Rhys Hoskins with one out. The Phillies subsequently reached second base for the first time in the game as pinch runner Edmundo Sosa stole second base.
After retiring Alec Bohm, Diaz walked Realmuto on 3-2 pitch putting the go-ahead runners on first and second with two outs. After the Phillies executed a double-steal of second and third, Diaz was a Nick Castellanos single away from blowing his first save since May 19. However, Diaz struck out Castellanos with his 25th pitch of the inning and the Mets held on for the victory. Diaz earned his 27th save of the season, and the 200th of his career. DeGrom earned his second win of the season while Nola dropped to 8–9.
A dominant Jacob deGrom combined with the brilliance of Nola produced a relatively quick two-hour and 24-minute game. It was a throwback to the match-ups of Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton in the 1970s and perhaps, a 2022 playoff preview.
LWOB Question to Buck Showalter
The victory was the Mets’ 16th win in their last 19 games. Benefiting from their recent acquisitions, LWOB asked manager Buck Showalter about getting players to “buy into” their roles. Showalter acknowledged that when you bring players in, one has to consider, “The arteries of these decisions and who they are going to affect,” and not assume anything. The buy-in is key according to Showalter. Going back to spring training, he said, “We have to embrace our best chance of trying to win. It’ll make a better aura of what we’re trying to do here.”