For a moment, it seemed like one Mets great would surpass another. Instead, Tom Terrific’s consecutive strikeouts record will remain.
Facing the Rockies in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, Mets ace Jacob deGrom struck out nine consecutive hitters, coming one shy of tying Tom Seaver for the all-time record.
Facing third baseman Josh Fuentes to leadoff the fifth, Fuentes reached on an error by second baseman Jeff McNeil. Naturally, deGrom struck out the next hitter to give him 11 punch-outs on the day. The Rockies would score three unearned runs in the inning, though, to take a 3-1 lead.
deGrom was his typical flame-throwing self through the first five frames against Colorado, topping 99 mph 20 times with his fastball and reaching 100 four times. Of his 26 swinging strikes, 12 of them came against the fastball.
It appeared as though it would be another tough-luck loss for deGrom, but the Mets rallied in the late innings. They scored once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead, then Edwin Días struck out the side in the seventh to preserve the win.
deGrom finished the game allowing three hits and three unearned runs over six innings, with one walk and 14 strikeouts. It’s his second consecutive game with 14 strikeouts, and he lowered his season ERA to 0.45 over 20 innings, with 35 strikeouts.
deGrom is the ninth player in major league history to strike out nine consecutive batters, and the first since Tyler Alexander last season, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com. Seven of the nine instances of nine straight strikeouts have occurred since 2007.
Seaver set the record with 10 straight strikeouts nearly 52 years ago against the Padres on April 22, 1970, in a 2-1 Mets victory. He went 18-12 and led the National League with a 2.82 ERA and 283 strikeouts that season, finishing seventh in Cy Young Award voting. deGrom has finished in the top three of Cy Young Award voting in each of the lsat three seasons, winning in 2018 and 2019.
As if deGrom hadn’t already done enough, he gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the third inning after leading off with a single. He later came around to score on a single by Pete Alonso.
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