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New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom dominates Nationals in 2-hitter

Apr 23, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob deGrom continued making history Friday night, when the New York Mets ace struck out a career-high 15 in a two-hit shutout and also doubled home the game’s first run in a 6-0 win over the visiting Washington Nationals.

The Mets snapped a three-game losing streak. The Nationals had a two-game winning streak halted.

DeGrom (2-1) allowed a second-inning single to Starlin Castro and a third-inning double to Andrew Stevenson before retiring the final 19 batters. He lowered his ERA to 0.31 in authoring his fourth career complete game and second shutout.

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DeGrom’s 15 strikeouts increase his season total to 50 — the most ever by a pitcher in his first four starts of the season. The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, who tied his previous career high by striking out 14 in each of his previous two starts, became only the third pitcher in history to whiff at least 14 batters in three straight starts. Pedro Martinez did so from Sept. 4-15, 1999 and Gerrit Cole did it from Aug. 28 through Sept. 8, 2019.

No pitcher has ever struck out at least 14 batters in four straight starts. DeGrom’s next turn in the rotation is scheduled for Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox.

Nationals right-hander Erick Fedde (1-2) matched zeroes with deGrom until the fifth, when he issued one-out walks to J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil before deGrom, batting eighth after recording hits in each of his first three starts, doubled. His five-game hitting streak dating back to 2019 is the longest by a Mets pitcher since Mike Hampton had a five-game streak in 2000.

DeGrom scored on a two-out, two-run single by Brandon Nimmo. Dominic Smith hit an RBI single in the seventh. With M-V-P chants raining down from the crowd of 8,130, deGrom batted again in the eighth and singled before scoring on Nimmo’s two-out homer.

DeGrom got three groundouts in the ninth — the last a 3-1 in which he stretched for a high throw from Pete Alonso — to become the second Mets pitcher to strike out at least 15 and walk none in a shutout. Dwight Gooden had 16 strikeouts against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 12, 1984.

–Field Level Media