Strong deGrom spearheads Mets' shutout of Phillies
Coming into this season, the Mets knew pitching would be the key to their success. Jacob deGrom only fortified that belief during Monday's home opener, making two runs stand up in a 2-0 win over the Phillies at Citi Field.
DeGrom held the Phillies in check for 6 1/3 innings, allowing new closerJeurys Familia and a stout Mets bullpen to handle the rest. Though the Phillies mustered seven hits and a walk off deGrom, they could not cash any of them in for runs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED deGrominant: Retiring the first seven batters he faced, deGrom did not let a runner reach third base until the seventh inning, when Carlos Torres entered to escape a two-on, one-out jam. Though somewhat inefficient, needing 99 pitches to complete 6 1/3 innings, deGrom scattered his seven hits and one walk well enough to keep the Phillies off the board.
Cody and Freddy, not Chase and Ryan: The only two Phillies hitters doing much of anything the first week of the season are third baseman Cody Ascheand shortstop Freddy Galvis. Asche went 2-for-4 and Galvis went 3-for-3 on Monday, but the rest of the Phillies' lineup managed just two hits. Asche and Galvis have combined for 18 of the team's 50 hits this season. Meanwhile,Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are hitting a combined .130 (6-for-46) with no home runs.
Juan early run: After Daniel Murphy doubled off Phillies starter Aaron Harang with one out in the fourth inning, Juan Lagares gave the Mets their first run on a comebacker that Harang touched with his glove, but was unable to corral. By the time Harang had chased down the deflection, Lagares had nearly reached first with an RBI infield hit. The Mets did not score again until the eighth, when Travis d'Arnaud plated Michael Cuddyer on a sacrifice fly.
Harang deals again: Harang signed a one-year, $5 million contract in December, and if he continues to pitch like he has in the past week, he will be worth every penny. The veteran right-hander allowed four hits, one run, two walks and struck out one in six innings Monday. He has a 0.73 ERA in his first two starts.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Utley has hit more home runs against the Mets (33) than any other team, but he has not homered since he hit one against the Mets on Aug. 10. It is the longest homerless drought of his career, stretching to 174 at-bats following Monday's game.
With a pinch-hit flyout in the seventh inning, Kirk Nieuwenhuis appeared in his sixth game of the season -- despite starting none of them. He is 0-for-4 with a walk as a pinch-hitter thus far, once being subbed out without an at-bat. As the only lefty on New York's four-man bench, Nieuwenhuis could challenge former Met Rusty Staub for the most pinch-hit plate appearances (94) in a season since the league started keeping track in 1974.
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies: Right-hander David Buchanan hopes to bounce back in a major way Tuesday night against the Mets. He allowed seven hits, six runs, four walks and struck out one in just three innings on Thursday in a loss to the Red Sox.
Mets: For the first time since August 2013, Matt Harvey will take the mound at Citi Field in Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. ET game against the Phillies. Harvey pitched six shutout innings in his season debut last week against the Nationals.