Mets look to Jacob deGrom to clinch series win vs. Marlins

MLB

Mets look to Jacob deGrom to clinch series win vs. Marlins

Coming off a wild, confusing, but victorious home opener, the New York Mets will look to clinch a series win over the Miami Marlins when the National League East rivals resume their three-game series Saturday afternoon.

Two-time National League Cy Young Award-winning right-hander Jacob deGrom (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for New York against left-hander Trevor Rogers (0-1, 4.50 ERA).

The Mets won their first home opener under new owner Steve Cohen in unusual fashion Thursday afternoon when Jeff McNeil hit the game-tying homer leading off the bottom of the ninth and Michael Conforto drew a controversial hit by pitch with the bases loaded to force home the winning run in the 3-2 victory.

With two strikes on him, Conforto stuck out his elbow as the slider from Marlins closer Anthony Bass broke over the heart of the plate.

The ball lightly grazed Conforto’s elbow pad and just as home plate umpire Ron Kulpa went into his “out” motion, calling him out on strikes, the right fielder motioned he’d been hit. Kulpa changed the call mid-gesture and awarded Conforto first base. Conforto sprinted to the bag as Luis Guillorme ran home with the winning run.

“Well, obviously not the way that I wanted to win the ballgame,” Conforto said. “It was a slider, felt like it was coming back to me and I just turned that way — may have been a little lift to my elbow, just out of habit, out of reaction — and it barely skimmed the edge of my elbow guard. I did see that he rung me up.”

Marlins manager Don Mattingly raced out of the visiting dugout to argue the call, which stood following a 58-second review. But the debate was just beginning.

Later, Kulpa acknowledged to a pool reporter he’d made a mistake and that his original instinct was correct. Baseball rules stipulate that a strike is called on the batter when he’s hit by a pitch that lands in the strike zone.

“I guess the toughest part is, it’s just a strike,” Mattingly said. “Kind of that simple. You would think all the replay that we do, that you could say ‘that ball’s a strike.’ I wonder what happens when they put the automated strike zone in?”

The Mets’ deGrom went unrewarded again Monday night, when he blanked the Philadelphia Phillies over six innings before the Mets’ bullpen squandered a two-run lead in a 5-3 loss. It marked the 31st time deGrom has exited with a lead and not earned the win.

Rogers took the loss Monday, when he gave up three runs (two earned) over four innings as the Marlins fell to the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-1.

In his career vs. the Marlins, deGrom is 10-8 with a 3.00 ERA in 26 starts. Rogers is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in two starts against the Mets.

–Field Level Media

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