Mets end seven-game skid with 3-0 win over Angels
NEW YORK -- The New York Mets’ blueprint for success was on display Friday night. Finally.
Right-hander Jacob deGrom wriggled out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the seventh and combined with three relievers on a six-hit shutout as the Mets snapped two inglorious streaks with a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Citi Field.
“That’s certainly exactly what you thought we were going to be able to do -- get our pitchers, our starting pitchers, to really carry us,” manager Terry Collins said after New York ended a seven-game losing streak. “Jake did a tremendous job tonight. Unbelievable, what he did in the seventh inning. That’s what we’ve come to expect from those guys.”
Unfortunately for the Mets, their vaunted pitching staff -- which was supposed to be led by four fire-balling 20-something starters -- hasn’t been meeting expectations.
The outing by deGrom (3-1) snapped a streak of 17 straight games in which New York starters did not record an out beyond the sixth inning. DeGrom was the previous pitcher to achieve the feat on April 28, when he tossed seven innings against the Washington Nationals.
“I actually wanted to go farther than (the seventh), but when you load the bases in the seventh ...,” deGrom said with a grin. “I wanted to stay out there as long as possible tonight. I was fortunate enough to be able to get out of the seventh without giving up any runs.”
DeGrom is the only member of the rotation to take every turn this season. Left-hander Steven Matz has yet to pitch due to a left elbow injury, right-hander Noah Syndergaard is likely out until August due to a torn lat muscle and right-hander Matt Harvey missed a start earlier this month due to a team suspension.
The Mets, who finished third in the National League in ERA last season and fourth in the NL in 2015, entered Friday with a major league-worst 5.13 ERA. New York has already lost 11 games in which it has scored at least four runs after losing just 18 such games last season.
“We didn’t break camp with imagination -- these guys are legit,” Collins said. “And we’ve got to get them right, so that as we head into the big months of summer. We know what we’ve got and those guys are pitching like they can.”
DeGrom cruised through the first six innings, during which he only allowed one runner beyond first base, before he pitched through a torn callus on his ring finger in an eventful seventh inning.
Andrelton Simmons led off the inning with a double before deGrom walked C.J. Cron and plunked Martin Maldonado. DeGrom recovered to strike out Danny Espinosa before shortstop Jose Reyes saved at least one run with a juggling, over-the-shoulder catch of pinch hitter Ben Revere’s popup in shallow center field. The ball hit the palm of Reyes’ before he snared it out of the air.
“We can certainly look at that as maybe (there‘s) a chance where that ball drops in in the last seven days, for sure,” Collins said.
DeGrom then retired Cameron Maybin on a flyout to right and slapped his hand into his glove as Jay Bruce moved in position to field the ball.
“He made some good pitches to get out of that,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We had them loaded up and you’ve got to tip your cap to him.”
Jerry Blevins (two-thirds of an inning) and Paul Sewald (one-third of an inning) each allowed a hit in the eighth before Addison Reed posted his fifth save with a perfect ninth.
Curtis Granderson had an RBI double in the first inning for the Mets (17-23), who returned home following the franchise’s first 0-6 road trip since 1999. Rene Rivera delivered a run-scoring single in the sixth and Michael Conforto hit a leadoff homer in the seventh.
“That was a clean game for us,” Reyes said. “That’s what we need. Hopefully, we can take something from this win and hopefully continue to play the way we’re supposed to play.”
Simmons and Mike Trout had two hits apiece for the Angels (22-22), who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (2-3) took the loss after allowing two runs (one earned), four hits and three walks while striking out four in six innings.
“He got us to a certain point in the game, gave us a chance to win,” Scioscia said.
NOTES: Three injured Mets -- C Travis d‘Arnaud, RHP Seth Lugo and LHP Steven Matz -- began rehab stints with Class A St. Lucie on Thursday night. D‘Arnaud also played Friday and went 0-for-4. ... Angels 1B Albert Pujols (hamstring) did not play. Pujols, who said he felt hamstring tightness while running the bases Wednesday, underwent an MRI exam that revealed no damage, but manager Mike Scioscia said Pujols was not an option to pinch-hit in the late innings on Friday.