On a Memorial Day that saw Ike Davis make his triumphant return to Citi Field, it was Jacob deGrom who stole the show. He was excellent for the third straight game, but then the bullpen did some stealing of its own, robbing him of his first major league win and then costing the Mets the game.
DeGrom ran into some trouble in the first inning. He loaded the bases on two singles and a walk with one out. But he was able to induce a ground ball double play to end the inning and get out of the jam.
The Mets offense continued its impotence, stranding a runner on third in the first inning and grounding into double plays in each of the second and third innings.
The bats finally broke through in the fifth. DeGrom singled with two outs and Juan Lagares walked. Daniel Murphy lined a single to right, scoring DeGrom. The throw from the right fielder went to third. It got past Pedro Alvarez and Lagares raced home. Alvarez tracked down the ball and threw home. The throw beat Lagares and he was called out, but the play was reviewed because catcher Russell Martin was blocking the plate before he got the ball. The umpires confirmed that and Lagares was ruled safe, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.
With runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh, Terry Collins pulled deGrom after 122 pitches. Jeurys Familia struck out Andrew McCutchen to end the inning and keep the Pirates off the board.
Jacob deGrom threw 6.2 shutout innings, allowing five hits, striking out four and walking five.
With lefty Scott Rice in the game, the Gaby Sanchez pinch hit for Ike Davis to lead off the eighth. He hit a solo home run to cut the Mets lead to 2-1. Rice for the next two outs and Jose Valverde came in. Starling Marte doubled and pinch hitter Jose Tabata singled to tie the game at two, costing deGrom the win. Tabata stole second but Clint Barmes flied out to end the inning.
With the bullpen depleted (Jenrry Mejia pitched in both games of the doubleheader Sunday and Daisuke Matsuzaka started the second), Valverde was trotted out for the ninth. Bad idea. With one out Neil Walker singled and McCutchen walked. Sanchez then singled to left. Walker scored and when the throw from Granderson got past Juan Centeno, McCutchen came around as well to make it 4-2. Sanchez went to third. Valverde was then lifted from the game, exiting to a chorus of boos. Don’t worry, he’ll be gone soon. Carlos Torres allowed a double to Russell Martin to make it 5-2. Alvarez was intentionally walked and then with two outs reliever Tony Watson collected his first major league hit to load the bases. Barmes flied out to end the inning.
Lucas Duda led off the ninth with his sixth home run of the year to cut the lead to 5-3, but that was as close as they would get.
Mets lose, again.