DeGrom went six innings against the Rockies, allowing just three hits and three unearned runs, and in a span that lasted from the second through the fourth, he set a career high in striking out nine straight Rockies, falling just one punchout shy of Tom Seaver’s major league record of 10 straight strikeouts.
“It’s special, you’ve got to call it that,” Luis Rojas said of deGrom’s nine straight Ks. “You don’t see that often. We didn’t have a ball put in play for like three innings. The guys were just going out there and getting to their position, and no balls in play. Just running in and out of the dugout when he had the nine strikeouts. You don’t see that. It’s pretty special.
“You talk about Jake getting better every year, and he goes out there – and we talked about the challenge with the weather today. He had a little bit of a different start and all of a sudden he makes an adjustment and he does something special. … Something special happened.”
After the game, deGrom said that he wasn’t sure of exactly how many Rockies he had sat down in order, and he wasn’t aware of Seaver’s record either.
“Honestly, I didn’t know how many I had in a row, and you’ll have to tell me what the record is,” deGrom said with a smile.
After being told that the record was 10, deGrom responded: “That would have been nice to reach, but I fell a little short.”
DeGrom finally had his streak snapped in the fifth inning, as Josh Fuentes grounded a ball back up the middle, just out of deGrom’s reach. Jeff McNeil committed an error trying to make the play at first, but deGrom blamed himself for not making the play.
“That was truly business as usual,” deGrom said of how he attacked the Rockies during the streak. “I didn’t know how many it was, but I knew I had struck out a few guys in a row. I was frustrated that I couldn’t field my position. That ball was almost hit right at me. McNeil did a good job of getting to it, just couldn’t make the throw.”
Still, the only blemishes on deGrom’s record Saturday were those three unearned runs, with two of them scoring on a Dom Nunez triple and a Raimel Tapia home run in the fifth inning.
“I wish I would have done a better job of keeping them off the scoreboard, but I went back and looked at the triple and the homer and felt like I made good pitches,” deGrom said. “Like I said, I think they just beat me to the spot there. They did a good job of keeping the homer fair and then just a good job of getting to that up fastball for the triple.”
And in a game where it looked like the Mets were about to squander another great deGrom outing, the offense battled back in the top of seventh, scoring two runs to get deGrom the win.
“It’s exciting … We’ve got a good lineup,” deGrom said. “It’s not easy for those guys when you have a game and then games keep getting canceled and are postponed and that messes with their timing, but now hopefully we get this thing rolling and let them do what they’re capable of, and we saw that late in this game.”