Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Even Ace deGrom Can't Stop the Losing

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Even Ace deGrom Can't Stop the Losing

Article excerpt

NEW YORK – The 2015 NLDS, it was not. Except for the booing of Chase Utley.

The Mets sent Jacob deGrom to the mound against the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw Saturday night at Citi Field. What started out as the aces' highly-anticipated first meeting since the postseason three years ago devolved into an 8-3 Mets loss. It's New York's 12th loss in 13 home games.

The Mets (31-43) fell 12 games under .500, their lowest mark of the season.

Despite not having allowed more than two earned runs in a game since April 16, deGrom (5-3) gave up three over six innings and departed after 112 pitches. Matt Kemp's pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth off reliever Robert Gsellman broke open the game.

"I wasn't able to locate [pitches] like I have been in my past outings," deGrom said. "And I wasn't able to make big pitches when I needed to."

Fresh off the disabled list due to a lower back strain, Kershaw threw just 55 pitches over three innings. He and deGrom had combined for 24 strikeouts in their NLDS opener, which New York won, 3-1 – one game before Utley's much-remembered hard slide that injured then Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. Utley had little impact Saturday, outside of scoring a run on Kemp's eighth career grand slam.

DeGrom's ERA was impacted, rising from 1.51 to 1.69, and it began two batters into the game. LA's Max Muncy blasted the first pitch he saw into the upper deck in right and flipped his bat ever so slightly – ironically, as the ball sailed over the head of noted bat-flipper Jose Bautista.

"Joey Bats," as he came to be called in Toronto, got the Mets even in the second, following Michael Conforto's double with an RBI two-bagger. Bautista also showed off his glove in the top of the third, when he made a diving catch of Justin Turner's fly ball.

"The bottom line is, you try to make an impact on the game any time you're up at the plate," Bautista said. …

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