PHILADELPHIA – Jacob deGrom's balky hamstring forced an untimely exit Wednesday night. Now, the New York Mets ace hopes it won't mean an early end to his season.
DeGrom left a rare rough outing because of a right hamstring spasm, then watched his teammates erase a four-run deficit in rallying for a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 32-year-old deGrom first had issues with his hamstring in his previous start and it went away, so he didn't tell the team. He couldn't shake the feeling early against the Phillies and this time didn't take any chances.
“I think it’s just day by day," he said. "What’s weird is running around, playing catch, it seems fine. Then once I get to full intensity in a game is when I feel it. Hopefully it’s something we can treat and get back out there as quick as possible.”
Phillies reliever Hector Neris (2-2) dropped the ball on the mound for a balk that moved the go-ahead run to second base in the ninth inning. Mets rookie Andres Gimenez hit an RBI single to put New York ahead.
DeGrom had a surprisingly difficult two innings that pointed toward an apparent injury and could derail his bid for a third straight NL Cy Young Award. He allowed three earned runs in a start for the first time this season, pushing his ERA back over 2.00 at 2.09. The right-hander, who struck out 12 Phillies on Sept. 6, was pulled after only 40 pitches and one strikeout.
He appeared to spike a water bottle in frustration in the dugout after a brief chat with pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and trainer Brian Chicklo.
Hefner visited deGrom on the mound in the second inning when he allowed all his runs, but there was no immediate indication he was hurt. Michael Wacha replaced deGrom in the third with New York trailing 3-0.
“They said, ‘Hey, there’s no reason to try and push through this and hurt something,'” deGrom said.
After he was gone, the Mets became the latest team to strike against the beleaguered Phillies bullpen.
J.D. Davis tied it 4-all in the eighth against Adam Morgan on an RBI double off the wall on a misplayed ball by Adam Haseley in right field that took deGrom off the hook. The Phillies blew a save for the 11th time this season.
“Eventually you believe that it’s got to turn,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.
Miguel Castro (2-1) struck out the final two batters of the eighth and stranded two runners to earn the win. Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his fourth save.
The Phillies blew one they needed as they chase their first NL playoff berth since 2011. They hit deGrom uncharacteristically hard in the second to take a 3-0 lead. Andrew Knapp knocked an RBI double to right, Haseley hit a sacrifice fly and Andrew McCutchen’s fielder’s choice capped the scoring against deGrom.
DeGrom had been 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 16 career starts vs. Philadelphia. He failed to record a strikeout on his first time through a team’s batting order for the first time in 103 starts.
Wacha allowed Jean Segura’s sixth homer in the fourth to make it 4-0.
Zack Wheeler seemed poised to cruise toward his third win of the season against his former team. Like deGrom, Wheeler was bothered by an injury — though one more gross than severe. Wheeler missed his last turn after he ripped the fingernail of his right middle finger when he tripped putting on a pair of jeans.
“It’s hanging on. But it’s there," Wheeler said.
The Mets got a run in the fourth and Davis hit a two-run homer off Wheeler in the sixth to make it 4-3. Wheeler gave up three runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out two.
Phillies: Placed RHP Jake Arrieta on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain; placed OF Kyle Garlick on the 10-day IL with a right oblique strain. Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner, was injured in his start Tuesday against the Mets. ... 1B Rhys Hoskins will try and return this season from a left elbow strain, but surgery is not off the table. Because the injury is on his non-throwing elbow, he could return earlier next season if Tommy John surgery is needed. “My grip strength was better today than it was a couple of days ago, so that’s a good sign,” Hoskins said.
Slumping 1B Pete Alonso was not in the Mets' starting lineup after going 1 for 17 with six strikeouts over the last four games.
“We’re trying to get to that consistency part with him,” manager Luis Rojas said. “We’ve seen Pete have a good game where his swing is like we want it to be, then kind of go a couple of steps back."
Alonso pinch-hit for Brandon Nimmo in the eighth and grounded out.
The Phillies promoted OF Mickey Moniak from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 22-year-old Moniak was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft and hit .252 with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs at Double-A Reading in 2019.
The Phillies send RHP Aaron Nola (5-3, 2.40 ERA) to the mound against Mets RHP Seth Lugo (2-3, 2.63 ERA) on Thursday.
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