Starting pitcher Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on May 31, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks had no answer for starting pitcher Jacob deGrom in a 6-2 loss to the New York Mets on Memorial Day at Chase Field.
They end the month of May with a 5-24 record, their worst record for a single month in franchise history.
Eduardo Escobar was 2-for-4 with a solo home run and Josh Reddick was 3-for-4 with a double, two singles and an RBI, his second consecutive three-hit game.
“Look, we’re not doing things the Diamondback way,” manager Torey Lovullo said on Zoom following the game.
“My challenge to these guys is to find a way to keep fighting, which they do, but to take care of those little things. Because for me and this organization, they add up to big things. And when those big things happen, you take of them the right way as well.
“As frustrating as this game is, we got to find a way to turn the page and get ready for tomorrow,” Lovullo added.
The D-backs had their hands full at the plate with deGrom on the mound. The 32-year-old righty entered the game with a 0.80 ERA in 45 innings pitched this season.
deGrom fed Arizona batters a steady diet of 101 mph fastballs and 93 mph sliders in the strike zone throughout the night. He also worked economically, averaging just over 11 pitches per inning through six while racking up eight strikeouts.
At one point in the first inning, deGrom threw 10 straight pitches over 100 mph.
He even got it done at the plate against Merrill Kelly and the D-backs, going 1-for-3 with a single and an RBI. He currently has an absurd batting average of .450.
“We respect exactly what he’s done, and he’s doing it at a very high level against everybody,” said Lovullo on deGrom’s outing.
“But I believe in our guys. I want to bet on our guys and say that you can throw it where you want and how you want and however hard you possibly can, and I still feel like we’re going to beat you.”
Meanwhile, his counterpart Kelly pitched well for the D-backs in the loss. In the third inning, he gave up a string of four singles with one being a two-run single from first baseman Pete Alonso.
Kelly then gave up an RBI single to deGrom in the fourth when he intentionally walked centerfielder Mason Williams to get to his fellow starting pitcher, who made him pay for it.
“Just trying to get a cutter in on his hands and just didn’t get there,” said Kelly on the 105.6 MPH single from deGrom. “It’s pretty much as simple as that.”
Alonso then came calling again in the seventh inning when he ended Kelly’s night with a two-run home run to left field, his seventh of the season, on a four-RBI night.
Kelly went 6.2 innings, giving up five runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out six.
“I thought Merrill threw the ball extremely well,” added Lovullo on his starter. “He just got nicked up in a couple of key situations and did enough to keep us in the ballgame.”
deGrom carried a perfect game into the fifth inning when it was ended by a Carson Kelly single. Kelly was 1-for-4 at the dish.
Reddick added a single two batters later for the team’s only hits against deGrom. He terrorized Arizona for six innings, allowing just those two hits with no runs or walks and eight strikeouts.
“Obviously you saw what our big-league hitters did against him tonight and you’ve seen what the rest of the league did against him,” said Kelly on his opponent.
“What we’re watching is something special. In my mind, he’s in a league of his own. The fact that he has the stuff that he has and can command it the way that he does I think is probably what sets him apart the most.”
Once he left the game, the D-backs were able to put their first runs on the board via an Eduardo Escobar solo home run, his 13th of the year.
With his 39th RBI, Escobar is currently in sole possession of first place in the National League for RBI. He has also hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games and currently has a seven-game hitting streak. He added a single in the eighth.
They plated another run in the seventh inning when Pavin Smith singled and scored on a Reddick RBI single.
Arizona’s bullpen, which posted a 1.78 ERA over the last seven days, gave up only one earned run in the loss and continues to improve after a rocky start to this season.
The D-backs will get a second helping of the Mets on Tuesday and will have left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith on the hill making his second start of the year. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on ESPN 620 AM.
Smith is 2-1 for the D-backs this season with a 3.27 ERA, 40 strikeouts, and 1.364 WHIP in 33 innings pitched.