Jacob deGrom returns: Mets lineup/bullpen falter in 5-1 loss following quiet trade deadline

Mets fall to Nationals 5-1
Washington Nationals’ Victor Robles scores on an RBI double by Luis Garcia during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Luis Garcia and the Nationals made sure Jacob deGrom’s return would not lead to a Mets victory.

The shortstop drove in three of the Nationals’ four runs, resulting in a 5-1 victory for the club over deGrom and ending New York’s seven-game winning streak. 

It had been 391 days since deGrom had pitched in a major league game. the 2x Cy Young lived up to the billing throwing five innings of one-run ball while striking out six. DeGrom threw just 59 pitches with 43 of them strikes. DeGrom did not pick up a decision in the contest but showed everything that Mets fans have grown accustomed to seeing. 

“He felt good physically which is a good thing.” Mets manager Buck Showalter said after the game. “It was good to see and a lot of good things from him.”

While deGrom showed his usual dominance, the Mets bats had delivered a time-tested tradition of lacking in run support for their ace. 

Rookie Cory Abbott took the hill for Washington in his first career start and stifled a torrid Mets lineup through five innings. Abbott worked around a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the first, but then quickly cruised through five complete innings while giving up only two hits. 

After a Francisco Lindor home run tied the game up in the top of the sixth, the Nationals, and Garcia specifically quickly countered. Steve Nogosek entered the game after deGrom was pulled and promptly gave up a two-run shot to the Nationals shortstop, and Yadiel Hernandez back-to-back to give the Nationals  4-1 lead they would not relinquish. 

New York would knock on the door multiple times throughout the contest but were unable to succeed with runners in scoring position. 

Jeff McNeil popped up with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the first. 

Before today’s contest, the Mets had been averaging over six runs a game over the course of their seven-game hitting streak. 

A solo shot by Joey Meneses, who was called up following the trade for Juan Soto made the game 5-1 and out of reach for the Metropolitans. 

Both teams saw serious effects from the MLB Trade Deadline that transpired hours before the first pitch. The Nationals traded Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the Padres for a number of prospects while the Mets were quieter than usual: only acquiring Darin Ruf and Mychal Givens before the 6 pm deadline. 

While Met fans were arguably hoping and expecting more moves from the club, general manager Billy Eppler was adamant the club was not going to make a move for the sake of being active. 

“One of the things that we talked about was maintaining the organization discipline to crush the urge to deal top prospects… for marginal gains.” Eppler said after the deadline. 

The first game following the deadline highlighted some of the bigger needs for the club. 

With the loss, the Mets fall to 65-38, 27 games over .500, and a potential 2 and a half-game lead over the rival Braves in the NL East. 

Mets Notes

  • The Mets are expected to welcome back Trevor May to the bullpen tomorrow. May had a stress reaction in his right humerus that has kept him away from the club since May 3. He had posted a rough 8.64 ERA earlier in the year but was pitching hurt.
  • Newly acquired Darin Ruf is expected to join the team tomorrow. The Mets will need to make a couple of corresponding roster moves to make room for both May and Ruf. 
  • For Lindor, his 19th home run of the season also gave him his 74th RBI of the year. He is now just seven RBI shy of the club’s record by a shortstop set by Jose Reyes. 
  • Game three between the Nationals and Mets is set for 4:05 pm tomorrow with Chris Bassitt on the hill for New York. 

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