Jacob deGrom joined an exclusive Major League Baseball club on Saturday afternoon at Coors Field. However, it was the Colorado Rockies bullpen and their ineffectiveness at the plate that ended up stealing the headlines when it was all said and done.
Over the course of the second, third, and fourth innings, deGrom struck out nine consecutive Rockies batters, becoming one of just nine pitchers in MLB history to record nine or more straight Ks. Former Mets pitcher Tom Seaver holds the record with 10.
Here is everything you need to know about those first four innings for the Rockies.
Yet, that was just the start of what would be a roller coaster at Coors Field over the last three innings of a seven-inning affair, part of a doubleheader slated on Saturday after snow and cold temperatures in the Denver area wiped out Friday’s game.
deGrom fell just short of Seaver’s all-time MLB mark when Rockies third baseman Josh Fuentes reached to lead off the fifth on an error by Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil. That would be the start of a stunning turn where a Dom Nunez triple, a Yonathan Daza sacrifice fly, and a Raimel Tapia home run in the frame gave Colorado a 3-1 edge heading into the top of the sixth inning.
That would be the most damage the Rockies would do against deGrom, and none of those runs would be earned (thanks to McNeil’s inning-opening error), dropping his season ERA to 0.45 in his third start of the season. Numbers like that could well earn deGrom a return trip to Coors Field for the All-Star Game in July.
deGrom’s nine consecutive strikeouts were part of 14 on the day for the 32-year-old right-hander. It marks the second consecutive game that deGrom had struck out 14, matching a career-high.
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With the Rockies finally getting to deGrom and holding a 3-1 lead, Rockies manager Bud Black went to his bullpen and that’s where things started falling apart. Mychal Givens gave up a home run to Pete Alonso in the sixth to slice the lead to 3-2, then Rockies closer Daniel Bard gave up four straight hits to open the seventh, including Francisco Lindor’s RBI single to finish off the flurry and give the Mets a 4-3 lead.
Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the seventh to finish off the win, pushing the Rockies strikeout mark to 17 in the shortened seven-inning affair. It was just one short of the franchise record for strikeouts in a game, with Colorado posting 18 Ks in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on May 15, 2015.
A lot can often happen in a short time at Coors Field, including in a wild final three frames on Saturday afternoon after a historic run on the mound for a pitcher who continues to take his place in Mets history.