Jacob deGrom brought his A-game and got ample help from Mets teammates in a clash against another NL East ace.
Philadelphia never really gave Aaron Nola a chance.
DeGrom struck out 12 over seven innings, Nola was let down by lackluster defense and New York poured it on with a season-best 17 hits in a 14-1 victory over the Phillies on Sunday.
Pete Alonso homered twice, Jeff McNeil hit his first shot of the season, and Brandon Nimmo and Wilson Ramos also went deep for the Mets, who have won four of five. Dominic Smith had a career-high four hits, matched a franchise record with three doubles and drove in three.
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DeGrom (3-1) allowed three hits and two walks while lowering his ERA to 1.69. With three weeks left in this pandemic-shortened regular season, the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is a prime candidate for a three-peat in a field that also features the Cubs’ Yu Darvish and Braves’ Max Fried.
“I've said that almost every year coming in, that's a personal goal of mine,” deGrom said. "Winning two in a row, honestly, doesn't even really feel like it's sunk in yet. ... I prepared this offseason and this summer with that goal in mind.”
Brad Brach and Chasen Shreve closed out New York's four-hitter.
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McNeil and Alonso connected off Nola, but the rest of New York's damage against the Phillies ace was aided by defensive miscues.
Center fielder Adam Haseley got turned around on Smith's first-inning RBI double, and third baseman Alec Bohm botched a rundown that set up Andrés Giménez's two-run single in the fourth. First baseman Rhys Hoskins booted Robinson Canó's hard-hit grounder in the fifth, allowing Michael Conforto to score from second. Bohm and Hoskins were given errors.
Nola (4-3) was charged with three earned runs and six total over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out 10, walked one and allowed eight hits.
“Maybe the only runs he should've given up were the two solo home runs,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Andrew Knapp hit his first homer of the season off deGrom in the second. The Phillies backup catcher is hitting .462 this season in 14 games.
Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen added another misplay in the eighth, taking a poor route on Luis Guillorme's flyball that went for a two-run, ground-rule double.
“We did not play well today was the bottom line," Girardi said. "And we have to play well tomorrow and find a way to win.”
Philadelphia has dropped two straight after winning 10 of 11 and is just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Mets for second place in the NL East.
“I know this team has the capability of going on a tear," Alonso said.
Alonso hit his ninth homer of the season off the facing of the second deck against Nola in the second inning and added a two-run shot off Blake Parker in the eighth. The slumping slugger also doubled after entering the game hitting .210. He has four homers in his past four games.
Nimmo and Conforto had three hits each. Ramos struck out four times before hitting a solo shot off Parker in the eighth.
This was just the second time deGrom and Nola pitched against each other. The other was in 2018, when deGrom left after one inning in his return from the injured list.
DeGrom induced 35 whiffs, matching the most by a pitcher in one game since at least 2008, according to MLB.com. The others were Kansas City's Danny Duffy in 2016 and the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw in 2015.
“He's electric,” Alonso said. “The way the ball looks out of his hand is different. There's no one that I've seen that's like Jake.”
CUT AND RUN
Bryce Harper took the field with a fresh haircut and fresh legs a night after being ejected arguing a fair-foul call Saturday night. Harper's hair had been down to his shoulders throughout the season, but he had several inches removed in the 14 hours between the end of Saturday's game and Sunday's first pitch.
Harper lined a first-inning single off deGrom and promptly stole second and third base. Harper has seven stolen bases this season.
The $330 million slugger finished 1 for 2 with a walk before being replaced late in the blowout.
McNeil led off the sixth with his first homer a year after hitting 23 during an All-Star season. McNeil was one of three qualified hitters without a homer in 2020 entering Sunday, along with the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong and Royals’ Adalberto Mondesi.
Teammates ignored McNeil when he returned to the dugout — a prank usually reserved for rookies after their first big league blast. They broke a few seconds after he returned and mobbed the 28-year-old.
Phillies: OF Jay Bruce (left quadriceps strain) and CF Roman Quinn (concussion protocol) were both added to the injured list. OF Kyle Garlick and RHP Mauricio Llovera were called up. Llovera made his big league debut and loaded the bases twice. He escaped the jam in the seventh, but not the eighth. ... Philadelphia added C Henri Lartigue, 3B Luke Williams and LHP Jeff Singer to their 60-man player pool.
Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman has been taken out of the rotation and put back in the bullpen. RHP Michael Wacha will start Tuesday against Baltimore. ... RHP Franklyn Kilome was placed on the 10-day injured list with a split fingernail retroactive to Sept. 2.
Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler (4-0, 2.20) makes his second start against his former team and first at Citi Field in the finale of this four-game series. The Mets will counter with rookie LHP David Peterson (4-1, 3.03).
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