Marlins hit deGrom hard and stop Mets’ winning streak, 9-3
NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in more than a week, the Mets’ march through September was stopped.
Jacob deGrom was hit hard during a rare dud at home against one of his favorite opponents, and the Miami Marlins halted New York’s eight-game winning streak with a 9-3 victory Tuesday night.
Mets nemesis Dee Gordon homered and had four hits to back Tom Koehler, who plunked Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning and then helped silence the streaking slugger the rest of the way.
“I think it bothered us a little bit,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “So we’ll answer in our own due time.”
New York’s commanding lead in the NL East was trimmed to 8 1-2 games over Washington, which beat Philadelphia 4-0. The magic number remained 10 for the Mets to clinch their sixth division crown.
Christian Yelich had three hits and two RBIs following a surprise meeting with his “Saturday Night Live” doppelganger, and Justin Bour had three hits and two RBIs.
Pitching close to his suburban New York hometown, Koehler (10-13) gave up a run in the first inning but no more after the Mets loaded the bases with one out. He was lifted after walking the first two batters in the seventh.
Lefty reliever Mike Dunn struck out Curtis Granderson, Cespedes and Daniel Murphy in succession as the Mets were thwarted in their attempt to put together yet another late comeback.
“With this team, you give them a crack, they’ve shown this year that they can kick the door in,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. “To go get three punchouts in that situation was huge. I thought he stifled any momentum swing that was possibly taking place there.”
Last season’s NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom (13-8) got the ball on the anniversary of a striking performance. The right-hander whiffed the first eight Marlins at Citi Field on Sept. 15, 2014, matching the major league record to start a game since 1900.
He entered with a 1.63 ERA in 23 career starts at home — and 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA against Miami overall. But the Marlins pounded him for six runs and a season-high 10 hits in five innings.
“He’s got great stuff and he’s taken it to us a few times before,” Yelich said. “It was really just a combination of good at-bats.”
It was the first time deGrom allowed more than three earned runs in a start at Citi Field. New York might skip his next turn in the rotation to give him a rest.
“I’d like to keep pitching. I’ve had bad starts before. It’s kind of how you react after them. I’d like to get back out there,” deGrom said.
The crowd chanted “MVP! MVP!” as Cespedes stepped to the plate in the first inning, and he was hit near the left hip on the first pitch he saw from Koehler, a 92 mph fastball.
Cespedes stared out toward the mound before taking his base.
It appeared to be retaliation for Monday night, when Cespedes held his bat aloft and admired a 442-foot drive off Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino for his ninth home run this month.
Koehler disputed that notion.
“I was trying to pitch him inside,” he said. “It got away a little bit.”
In the seventh, Mets reliever Erik Goeddel threw behind Koehler as the pitcher squared to bunt. Plate umpire Dale Scott warned both benches immediately after the wild pitch, and there was no further trouble.
Koehler scored in the fifth after driving a double to right field for his first extra-base hit in 134 major league at-bats.
Gordon is batting .464 during a 16-game hitting streak against the Mets.
Before the game, the Marlins surprised Yelich by arranging a meeting with “Saturday Night Live” funnyman Pete Davidson, who certainly bears an unusual resemblance to the Gold Glove outfielder. The two have participated in a running joke online this season about how much they look alike. Davidson dressed in a separate locker room — complete with a No. 21 jersey that had Yelich’s name on the back — and joined the team on the field as giggling players stretched for batting practice.
Collins thinks 1B Lucas Duda just needs big league plate appearances to get back in a groove. Duda flied out to the warning track twice and is hitless in his last 14 at-bats. He is 3 for 25 (.120) since coming off the disabled list Sept. 7 from a lower back injury. ... Rookie LHP Dario Alvarez stumbled on the mound and committed for a ninth-inning balk. He limped off the field with a strained left groin.
Several members of the Mets had lunch with FDNY Rescue Company 4 a few miles from Citi Field. The team has visited a firehouse every year on or around Sept. 11 since the 2001 attacks.
New York RHP Bartolo Colon (14-11) faces LHP Adam Conley (3-1) in the series finale Wednesday night. The 42-year-old Colon has won four straight starts, including a shutout Sept. 5 in Miami — the only complete game by a Mets pitcher this season. His scoreless streak was snapped at 31 innings during his most recent outing at Atlanta.