SAN DIEGO — Despite a “banged up,” right ankle, Jacob deGrom dominated Monday night. The right-hander won his eighth straight start, beating the Padres 5-3 at Petco Park.
“Kind of bothered me from the start,” deGrom said of the sore ankle. “I don’t really know what was going on. I felt fine all week. But, it didn’t affect me. I just tried not to run as hard to first after my first at-bat. Other than that, it was fine.”
The Mets ace allowed two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out eight as the
Mets (46-51) won the fifth of their last six games. The Padres (43-56) lost for the second time in their last five games.
DeGrom ties the franchise record for consecutive wins in a season, tying Bobby Jones who accomplished the feat in 1997. Frank Viola won nine straight, but that was over two seasons.
Jose Reyes recorded his 500th career stolen base, Michael Conforto extended his hitting streak to eight straight games, Wilmer Flores belted his 10th homer of the season and Jay Bruce went 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Despite all that, the Mets had to hold off a video replay of a potential Padres walk-off home run for the win.
Closer Addison Reed, who is the Mets’ best trade chip heading into the final week before the trade deadline, gave up a leadoff homer to Renfroe in the ninth. He put two more Padres runners on with one out when pinch hitter Jabari Blash’s blast went just inches wide of the foul pole. The umpires needed to go to the video review to make sure Blash had not walked off the come-from-behind win.
Given a second life, Reed struck out Blash to escape the jam and pick up his 17th save of the season.
It would have been a shame for deGrom not to get his eighth straight win, as the Mets ace had another spectacular performance Monday.
Starting out by striking out the side on 10 pitches in the first inning, deGrom dominated the Padres through the first six innings. He gave up a long solo shot to Hunter Renfroe in the seventh and then got in trouble in the eighth. He gave up back-to-back, two-out doubles to Jose Pirela and Carlos Asuaje, but got out of the inning by getting Wil Myers, the Padres’ most feared hitter, to fly out to right field.
DeGrom (12-3) has won eight straight starts dating back to June 12 and allowed just 11 earned runs over his last 61.2 innings pitched for a 1.61 ERA.
“He’s really good. He’s really good,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “A couple of years ago, he was as good as there was in the league. Last year, he had the injury. There are people who have a knack for things. This guy has a knack for how to pitch. He has a feel for it on the mound, an idea how to get you out. For a guy who was a shortstop for long time and went to the mound, he’s a street-smart pitcher.”
DeGrom said that he was not sure how he tweaked his ankle, saying he does not drag his foot enough on the mound to hurt it. The 29-year old, however, said it was not bad enough to even prevent him from throwing a bullpen this week. And he said he won’t let it prevent him from making his next start.
“It’ll be fine,” deGrom said. “I’ll be out there again in five days.”
PLAY OF THE GAME
Michael Conforto said he wants to keep playing center field going forward and Monday he made a case for it. The center fielder made a tremendous catch on Jose Pirela’s fly ball in the sixth inning.
Wilmer Flores got the Mets going with his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot to lead off the second.
STAR OF THE GAME
Jacob deGrom held the Padres to two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out eight. In his last eight starts, he has pitched to a 1.61 ERA, struck out 58 and walked 12.
STAT OF THE GAME
Jose Reyes stole second base in the seventh inning for his 500th career stolen base. Ichiro Suzuki is the only other active player with at least 500 stolen bases.
Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for-4, scored a run and reached base four times.
Yoenis Cespedes tripled and drove in a run, but the slugger has not had a home run in 87 at-bats, dating back to June 23rd.
Tuesday at San Diego; RHP Seth Lugo (4-2, 4.05) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (9-7, 4.26).