Mets Continue to Struggle Despite deGrom’s Brilliance

On June 2nd, New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom limited the Chicago Cubs to one run over seven innings, scattering seven hits and two walks while striking out a phenomenal 13 Cubs hitters. Yet in the end, the Mets fell to the Cubs 7-1 in extra innings.

Unfortunately, hard-luck outcomes have become common for the Mets when deGrom takes the hill. Despite his individual brilliance so far in the 2018 season, the Mets haven’t been able to translate deGrom’s starts into victories .

In 12 starts this year, deGrom has gone seven or more innings seven times and six or more innings nine times. Over that span, he’s allowed more than a single earned run only twice, compiling an ERA of 1.49. Simply put, deGrom has been one of the very best pitchers in baseball in 2018, posting dominant performances nearly every time he’s pitched.

Yet for all that, deGrom’s win-loss record stands at 4-0. Certainly not bad, but it’s the no decisions that haunt deGrom and the Mets. The recent defeat to the Cubs is only the latest in a series of games the Mets have let slip away despite a strong start from deGrom.

In deGrom’s previous start, he threw seven innings of one run ball against the Braves only to see the Mets fall 4-3. In the start before that, deGrom shut out the Marlins over seven innings before the Mets frittered away the game 2-1. In the eight starts in which deGrom has recorded a no decision, the Mets are a disappointing 1-7.

As might be expected, the culprit is a combination of a lack of run support from the Mets offense and some bullpen collapses allowing teams to tack on additional runs late in the game. The Cubs game offered both, as the Mets could muster only a lone Michael Conforto solo home run over 14 innings, while the bullpen finally melted down and allowed the Cubs to score six runs in the 14th and seal their victory.

For both deGrom and the Mets, it’s a frustrating trend, made worse by the fact that the Mets have fallen two games under .500 and trail the Braves in the NL East by six games. It’s hard to imagine that the Mets will continue to experience so little team success if deGrom keeps dominating the way he has been so far this season. But up until this point, it’s been a strange and worrisome first few months of the season when deGrom takes the ball.