Petco Park- San Diego, California
The San Diego Padres came into Saturday’s matchup against the New York Mets with a clear understanding of what they were up against. They knew that they would have to scrape together runs however they could, while holding the Mets offense in check once again, in order to beat Jacob deGrom and the Mets.
Jacob deGrom came into Saturday’s matchup against the Padres with a 0.71 ERA in eight starts, striking out 82 hitters and walking only seven in just over 50 innings pitched. There had only been four runs scored against deGrom all season, and all had been in separate outings. In other words, the Padres would need a whole lot of luck to go along with a perfect approach at the plate, all while getting a similar type of performance out of Joe Musgrove.
Four the first half of the game, Musgrove did just that for San Diego. Through four innings, both pitchers had held up their ends of the bargain on what was predicted to be a pitcher’s duel from the jump. deGrom had predictably kept the Padres in check, striking out six while sitting consistently over 100 MPH on the radar gun. Musgrove, had set down seven Mets via the strikeout, holding the Mets socreless in those first four innings.
The bottom of the 4th inning was the one time that the Padres would have deGrom on the defensive, coming up empty after loading the bases. After three straight Padres had reached base following a leadoff strikeout, the Padres had their shot. deGrom, however, had a different thought about the situation. He would go on to strike out the next two hitters to end the inning and crush the only real opportunity of the night for the Padres.
After the game Padres’ manager Jayce Tingler was asked about deGrom’s ability to work out of the 4th inning, bases-loaded jam with two strikeouts. After giving his account of the events, Tingler concluded by saying, “what do you say? He’s really freaking good.”
In the top half of the 5th inning, the Mets broke through against Musgrove and the Padres, hitting two solo home runs to give New York a 2-0 lead. Hanging sliders to Jose Peraza and Francisco Lindor were costly mistakes for Musgrove that he could ill afford against the dominant deGrom.
Musgrove would go on to give up one more run in the 6th inning, finishing the night with what would normally be considered a strong outing. In five plus innings, Musgrove struck out 10 and walked one while surrendering three earned.
Jacob deGrom was just that much better for the Mets Saturday night. He would go on to complete seven scoreless innings against the Padres’ potent lineup, striking out 11 while surrendering three hits.
The pitcher somehow improved his already mind-blowing numbers after the strong performance Saturday, dropping his ERA to 0.62 and lowering his opponents’ batting average to .128.
New York would go on to score an insurance run in 9th inning to extend the lead to 4-0, which would hold as the final score in the third of the four-game series at Petco Park between the two teams. In winning Saturday night, the Mets halted the Padres franchise-record 12 straight wins at home, while pushing San Diego further behind the San Francisco Giants.
The Padres now trail the first place Giants by two games as they look to avoid splitting the series with New York after taking the first two.
Game four takes place Sunday afternoon at Petco Park, with first pitch coming at 1:10 PM.