|Jacob deGrom, Cy Young, faces Christian Yelich, defending NL MVP. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Mets, 10-2, on Friday night at Citi Field, spoiling Mets ace Jacob deGrom's return after a stint on the 10-day injured list with an elbow injury.
The forecast for the evening was gloomy, creating some question as to whether they would send deGrom out there, but Mets Manager Mickey Callaway made clear in his pregame press conference that the reining Cy Young winner would be on the mound no matter when the game got started.
After a rain delay of two hours and 42 minutes, deGrom took the mound at 9:52 p.m.
deGrom, who had two rocky starts before his IL stint, got off to a nice start as he worked around a walk to reining National League MVP Christian Yelich.
Robinsom Cano got a double in the botyobottom of the first, but Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson got Michael Conforto to line out to second base to end the inning.
In the top of the second, the Brewers loaded the bases against deGrom with one out, but he struck out Anderson and Lorenzo Cain to get out of it.
Cain got his revenge in the bottom half of the second when he reached over the fence in center field to rob Todd Frazier of a home run to close out the frame.
Milwaukee's offense picked up right where they left off in the third when Yelich singled and stole second, and then with one out, Moustakas hit a rocket off the fence in right field to bring him home and make it 1-0 Brewers.
Ryan Braun was then hit by a pitch, followed by Travis Shaw drawing a walk to load the bases.
Eric Thames doubled home Moustakas and Braun, and then Orlando Arcia singled home Shaw and Thames to make it 5-0.
deGrom got the pitcher Anderson to strike out via a bunt foul, and then struck out Cain to end the threat.
The Mets ace stayed on for the fourth, and he retired the Brewers in order, and that was the end of his night.
The final line for deGrom was: 4 innings pitched, 5 runs (all earned), 5 hits, 3 walks, and 7 strikeouts.
Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said afterwards whether he thought deGrom had the same issues as his prior two outings, "Yeah, I mean, same things are kind of plaguing him, you know. A few sliders kind of middle, just leaving pitches that he normally hits to the corners or executes better, he's leaving in the middle and teams are making him pay for it."
On how difficult it is to diagnose what's wrong with deGrom and if his IL stint threw that process off, "The easy part is diagnosing it and then the hard part, even if you're doing it with a normal or regular routine, is to fix it. Then, you add in what you're talking about, where you have to take some time off and you don't get your regular routine in, it makes it even more difficult.
"So, he's still battling it, just leaving the rubber a little quick. He and (pitching coach) Dave (Eiland) looked at it again tonight. It's the same issue, causes him to yank pitches back over the middle and, you know, leave pitches up when he wants to get them down, but he'll get it fixed and he'll get right."
On if the rain delay affected deGrom's routine, Callaway said, "You know, rain delays are, other than sitting around a little bit longer, they don't really affect your routine very much, so it's more about the in-between and, once you've diagnosed it, probably not getting the routine in-between that it probably would have taken to do a little bit better job of fixing this. The rain is not that bad...
"It's not that bad, other than having to sit around for a couple hours, you know. They still warm up the same amount of time before. You know, it's those days where you're almost about to start the game and then you're prepped up and hot and then they tell you, 'hey we're in a delay,' you know, ten minutes before you're about to play catch, that are tough. That wasn't the situation tonight.
"There's no excuses by any of us, we've just got to be better."
One thing Callaway made clear was about deGrom's health, saying, "He feels great, he'll feel even better once he stays on the rubber a little bit longer."
Callaway said of thinking of pulling deGrom after the third, "Yeah, we did, we checked on him, we pushed him pretty hard. He said he felt great, you know, he wanted to get another inning in."
The Mets got a run back in the bottom of the fourth when Brandon Nimmo got a two-out double and scored on a single by Frazier to make it 5-1 Brewers.
Milwaukee blew it open in the fifth against Mets reliever Corey Oswalt as Cain hit a three-run double and came home on a single by Yelich to make it 9-1.
The Mets got a run on the board in the fifth when Jeff McNeil doubled and then scored on a single from Cano.
Milwaukee tacked on a run in the eighth when Moustakas got an RBI double off Luis Avilan to make it 10-2, which would be the final.