deGrom With Run Support Is Unbeatable

The anticipated pitchers’ duel that was Jacob deGrom and Luis Castillo didn’t disappoint with there being a combined six hits against the two pitchers.

For deGrom, he further cemented his Cy Young case. Over 7.0 innings, he limited the Reds to just four singles. He walked none while striking out nine. The best way to sum it up was he was deGrom on that mound.

As good as deGrom was, Castillo was nearly his equal. He was getting the Mets to pound the ball into the ground. As a result, over his first 5.1 innings, he allowed just one hit. On a night where he needed to be perfect to beat deGrom, he was nearly perfect.


As noted by Keith Hernandez during the broadcast, Castillo made just two mistakes on the night. The first came with one out in the sixth:

That Jeff McNeil homer gave the Mets a 1-0 lead. It was his 16th homer in the second half as he’s focused more on power than contact much like he did in Binghamton last year.

At the time, most thought that was all the run support deGrom would get. After all, the Mets offense has been dormant for well over a year when deGrom pitches. On top of that, Castillo was great.

As great as he was, he’d make his second mistake in the seventh. Like McNeil, Amed Rosario would make him pay.

That two run homer gave the Mets a 3-0 lead. That’s two more runs than deGrom needed.

What was interesting was after the seventh, it appeared Mickey Callaway was set to pull deGrom even though he only threw 96 pitches. While we don’t know if deGrom said something or Brodie texted something, with what’s on the line, it was a surprise move.

Fortunately, the Reds went to their bullpen in the eighth, and Pete Alonso would take advantage hitting his 50th homer of the season.


The list of players who have hit 50 in their rookie year stands at Alonso and Aaron Judge. With two more games in this ballpark and the Mets playing the Marlins next, you almost have to believe Alonso’s going to break Judge’s rookie record of 52.

On another note, the 50 homers passes Mark McGwire for the rookie first base record. It was also Alonso’s 81st extra bass hit surpassing the single season record held by Carlos Beltran (2006) and Howard Johnson.

With respect to the game and the Mets Wild Card hopes, the homer gave the Mets a 5-0 lead. That made it a whole lot easier to go to the bullpen allowing deGrom to save his bullets for his final two (or maybe three) starts.

In the eighth, Brad Brach allowed a two out single before getting lifted for Luis Avilan with Joey Votto due up. After Avilan walked Votto, things were on the verge of getting dicey with Eugenio Suarez due up. Given his home run propensity and Diaz having hit 48 homers this year, Edwin Diaz was a very curious choice even if a homer only makes it 5-3.

Diaz responded to the challenge by striking out Suarez.

With the Mets into their bullpen, even with a 5-0 lead, insurance runs couldn’t hurt. They got that when Brandon Nimmo scores from first on a McNeil double increasing the Mets lead to 6-0.

McNeil went to third on the throw. After an intentional walk to Alonso and a defensive indifference, Juan Lagares singled home McNeil to make it 7-0. Michael Conforto, who had been taking better at-bats in the game walking twice, snapped an 0-for-21 stretch with an RBI single to make it 8-0.

After Jeurys Familia allowed a monster shot to Aristides Aquino, the Mets won 8-1. That’s three wins in a row with a favorable schedule. The only issue is if this run can continue, and if so, will it be enough.

Game Notes: Cubs lost to the Cardinals in the afternoon, and the Mets now trail them by 1.0 games, but they’re still three games in the loss column behind the Brewers.

8 thoughts on “deGrom With Run Support Is Unbeatable”

  1. David Klein says:

    Castillo was solid today but deGrom was absolutely dominant. And the only time deGrom looked like he was in a teensy bit of trouble with a runner on, and a 3-0 count on Barnhart for some reason Barnhart an extremely light hitter was given the hit sign, and hilariously swung and killed the rally. DeGrom is hitting the finish like a thoroughbred and deserves the cy young again.

    Monster game for Mcneil, some signs of life from Conforto getting on base three times and Rosario had another big homer and Alonso’s homer was a sight to see with him not taking a full follow through and hitting the ball nearly 450 feet.

    It got scary even up 5-0 but Diaz shut the door against Suarez and all hat was left was tack on runs and even Familia couldn’t blow an eight run lead.

    All in all a fun game but sadly no ground will be made up. The Pirates have clearly quit on the season.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Saying the Pirates have quit on the season is being kind. They’re an embarrassment to professional sports.

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    3-1/2 behind, Brewers have 8 games left; the Mets have 9.
    Brewers are playing tough. 8-2 over their previous 10 games. They’ve got 2 more against the Pirates, then 3 against the Reds and the Rockies. Not a tough series in the lot. It doesn’t bode well.

    I’d vote for deGrom if the season ended today. This game put him ahead by a nose.
    Alonso’s home runs are almost… boring. Today’s was unusual in that he had to reach for it a little bit, but so often it’s exactly the same stroke. Head is very steady, like a golfer; the weight shift is always the same, he’s so strong that he doesn’t need to wind up to swing the way some guys do. Very impressive, particularly for a rookie. Over the entire season no matter what happened he stayed on pace for very close to 52 HR and 120 RBI. Even when he had bad luck on balls in play the power was there.

    I’ve never been confident at all that this was a playoff team. There were way too many holes. For most of the season the back end of the rotation was the mediocrity of Vargas and Matz, and the unpredictability of Syndergaard and Wheeler. (Do you offer him the QO? It shouldn’t be that risky, even from the Wilpons’ pov. There just aren’t that many pitchers like Wheeler around and he’s probably not going to give up at least 3/42 [and it could go a lot higher] just to take 1/18m.) On top of that, too often the Mets were playing with half a lineup. The consistency wasn’t there, and even the extraordinary luck of the post-ASB stretch wasn’t enough to make up for the record all the weak spots produced. The corpse is still twitching, but I doubt it’s going to carry itself to the ambulance.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Unless something weird happens deGrom wins the Cy Young, and Alonso is the ROY.

  3. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Let’s be kind to Ramos in this:

    Ramo 2.6 bWAR on offense over 135 games = ~0.019 bWAR on offense per game.
    Rivera 0.0 bWAR/season = 0.000 bWAR on offense per game.

    1 WAR closely approximates 10 runs.
    Ramos’ 0.019 bWAR on offense per game translates to a contribution of 0.19 runs per game over that of a replacement level player like Rivera, who contributes 0.00 runs per game on offense, but while bad is not so bad that he actually cost runs in the WAR framework.

    The offensive value of playing Ramos over Rivera has been 0.19 runs on average per game, or very close to 1/5th of a run. 1/5th of a run. I leave it to anyone interested to figure out what 1/5th of a run translates to, but it’s less than one walk. Noticeably less.

    So if putting Rivera behind the plate instead of Ramos means Syndergaard gets an out instead of giving up a walk at any point during the game, it’s better to start Rivera.

    This isn’t arguable. It’s not subjective. It’s not a debate. Anyone wanting to claim otherwise is just being argumentative. You can emphasize this stat or stat and as a result change that 0.19 runs figure to 0.18 or 0.21, but that’s about the range of value you’re working in. This part of baseball is simply calculating statistics. Starting Ramos or Rivera isn’t some sort of mystical question.

    In short we can calculate their comparative value on offense within a very small range, after which it’s easy to see that not giving Syndergaard the catcher he wants, if that has a fair chance of subtracting as little as one walk from his line at the end of the game, is silly.

    Add in how you can close even the small, per game difference on offense between Ramos and Rivera by putting Ramos into the game to pinch hit at a key moment, further reducing the already small cost of starting Rivera, and denying Syndergaard his catcher of choice is clearly an even sillier decision.

    No data-driven baseball team would decide otherwise, so that this is a point of contention on the Mets tells us that either Wags doesn’t understand basic statistics, or that the Wilpons are insisting Ramos play as much as possible because they’re paying him $10m a year. I don’t think much of Wags but he can presumably use a calculator. This controversy has the Wilpons’ pawprints all over it.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I think it’s clear this is about the front office ego over doing all they can do to help their starter succeed.

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