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 campaign.
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 triumph 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 versus 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.
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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 permitted 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 permitted 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 triumph. Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his fourth save. 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.
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