Jacob deGrom’s otherworldly statistics aren’t the only reason the Mets’ pitching staff has posted the second-lowest collective ERA in baseball this season.
Marcus Stroman continues to put up All-Star caliber numbers, as well, posting 6 ¹/₃ innings of one-run ball in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Padres at Citi Field.
The Long Island product allowed six hits — including a solo homer by Fernando Tatis Jr. — with one walk and eight strikeouts in improving to 6-4 with a 2.32 ERA in 14 starts this season.
When you combine Stroman’s numbers with those of deGrom (MLB-leading 0.56 ERA) and Taijuan Walker (2.07), the Mets’ top trio of starters is now a combined 17-8 with a scintillating 1.67 ERA over 35 starts (204 ²/₃ innings pitched).
“Did y’all expect that?” said Stroman, who had a WWE championship belt over his shoulder during his postgame Zoom conference. “We knew what we were capable of, to be honest, from the very start.
“Between staff, between players we have a great combination of guys. There’s so much flow of information happening. We’re sharing ideas. We’re sharing how each other pitches and prepares, so there’s so much information being shared between one another, I just feel like it creates a winning atmosphere.”
Of course, deGrom has led the way, and the two-time Cy Young winner received some favorable injury news before the game with what Luis Rojas described as a “clean” MRI exam after leaving Friday’s 3-2 win following six scoreless innings with right flexor tendinitis.
“Man, we feed off the GOAT, man, for sure,” Stroman said, referring to deGrom with the acronym for the Greatest of All Time. “Definitely, I can’t speak any more highly of that man.
“He’s truly the best of our generation, and I think he’ll be the best to ever do it once it’s all said and done. Jake’s the man. He’s the most humble dude away from the field, too, and me and him are always talking mechanics, body, we’re always sharing ideas, pitch-sequencing. So I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him.”
Francisco Lindor also is heating up after a rough offensive start in his first season with the Mets, ripping a two-run homer in the first inning, his sixth of the year. Jonathan Villar (sixth) also went deep against reliever Pierce Johnson leading off the eighth for a 4-1 lead.
“Winner, winner, I’m in the mood for a sweep,” Mets owner Steve Cohen tweeted moments after the Mets’ third straight win and fifth in their last six games to improve to an MLB-best 17-5 at home.
The NL East-leading Mets (32-24) plated three runs in 6 ¹/₃ innings against Padres righty Joe Musgrove, the author of the first no-hitter in San Diego history on April 9 against the Rangers.
Those were all that Stroman would need to record his third consecutive victory, including two straight against the Padres (37-29) after also throwing 6 ²/₃ strong innings last Sunday in San Diego.
The 30-year-old Stroman allowed only one runner to reach second base over his first six innings of work Saturday. Tommy Pham singled and stole second in the sixth, but Stroman responded by striking out Trent Grisham and retiring Manny Machado on a grounder to third. He finished with 10 groundball outs and just one out recorded in the air.
“Man, Stro is an unbelievable pitcher. He keeps us [infielders] on our toes,” Lindor said. “To do that to them twice this year, especially in a short period of time, it says a lot about him, so hats off to him.”
Lindor also scored the Mets’ third run against Musgrove after working a leadoff walk in the sixth, crossing the plate on Dom Smith’s infield out following Pete Alonso’s single to right.
Leading off the following inning, Tatis finally got San Diego on the board by crushing Stroman’s 0-1 slider into the seats in left for his 18th of the season and a 3-1 game.
Aaron Loup replaced Stroman (85 pitches) following a one-out walk, and the lefty reliever combined with Seth Lugo (three strikeouts) and Edwin Diaz (12th save) to record the final eight outs in another dominant all-around pitching performance.