DeGrom’s one bad inning sends Mets spiraling to fourth-straight loss

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets
Miami Marlins right fielder Matt Joyce (7) is forced out at second badse by New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Normally, a Jacob deGrom start on a day game against the Miami Marlins is a magical combination for the New York Mets.

But when things are going bad, they really go bad.

The Mets dropped Monday afternoon’s makeup game at Citi Field 5-3 to the Marlins — their fourth-straight loss — as they dropped to five games under .500.

DeGrom allowed as many runs on Monday than his last three starts combined, four, but only one of them was earned when Pete Alonso’s error on a Matt Joyce groundball opened the door for Miami to score three more runs after Garrett Cooper’s lead-off home run in the sixth inning.

“I feel like I was in the right position, the ball took a weird bounce and kicked back to the right and took a weird, funky hop,” Alonso said. “I did my best to try to keep the ball in front.. but it trickled away.”

“I feel bad because I know I was in a good position… just didn’t make the play.”

Lewin Diaz doubled home the tying run with his first career extra-base hit before a Miguel Rojas single and Jorge Alfaro double gave Miami a 4-2 lead over deGrom.

It was the latest letdown over a three-day stretch that included a pair of bad losses to the Yankees before deGrom’s difficult outing.

“We got a good group. We lost some tough games, today included. We’ve been in every game,” deGrom said. “Today, if I pick us up in that sixth inning, those tough ones we get away at Yankee Stadium, we have a chance [to be higher in the standings].”

He was finished after that inning, posting an un-deGrom-like statline of four hits (one earned) on six hits with nine strikeouts and two walks on 93 pitches. Yet he still managed to lower his ERA to 1.76 this season, which is third-best in the National League.

The Mets originally gave their ace two runs to work with in the fourth inning thanks to Jeff McNeil’s RBI double and Domonic Smith’s sacrifice fly, but it was deGrom who spoiled his chance at a win rather than a collapsing bullpen or non-existent run support — though two runs aren’t much.

They would pull one back in the bottom of the sixth to cut it to a one-run game as Robinson Cano remained red-hot with his sixth home run of the season, going the other way to headline a two-hit day that also featured a double.

But the Marlins wiped that little progress away in the eighth when Brian Anderson launched a solo home run off Mets reliever Brad Brach to put the visitors back up two.

“Just not to get a W today, it’s definitely tough,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “Especially in a short season like this and you kind of feel like time is running out on you.” 

The Mets have 25 games remaining in the truncated 2020 season.