Mets rally late to beat Pirates, salvage Jacob deGrom’s 13-strikeout effort

Greg Joyce

By Greg Joyce


Mets rally late to beat Pirates, salvage Jacob deGrom’s 13-strikeout effort

A special day from Jacob deGrom turned sour with one swing of the bat.

The Mets returned the favor — and then some — two innings later to finish off a four-game sweep.

After deGrom’s 13-strikeout gem was spoiled by a game-tying home run in the sixth inning, Brandon Nimmo delivered a go-ahead single in the eighth inning as part of a four-run rally that lifted the Mets to a 7-3 win over the Pirates on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

With the win, the Mets (93-55) secured their first sweep since taking a three-game set against the Reds on Aug. 8-10 and preserved a one-game lead over the Braves atop the AL East.

Tomas Nido led off the eighth inning of a 3-3 game by ripping his second single of the day to center field before being pinch-run for by Terrance Gore.

Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo connects on an RBI single to center against the Pirates.
Jason Szenes/New York Post

The Pirates (55-92) then brought on former Yankee Manny Banuelos to face Nimmo. But before Banuelos delivered his first pitch, the lefty threw over to first base three times to try to keep Gore at bay. It did not work, as the speedy Gore stole second on Banuelos’ first pitch and took third on the throw to second base that trickled into center field.

Nimmo then came through with a well-placed bloop single to left field, putting the Mets up 4-3.

The Mets followed by creating some more breathing room, as Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso drew walks to load the bases before Daniel Vogelbach cracked a two-run single off Duane Underwood Jr.

Jacob deGrom pitches on Sunday during the Mets' win over the Pirates.
Jacob deGrom pitches on Sunday during the Mets’ win over the Pirates.
Jason Szenes

The Pirates’ fourth error of the day later allowed the Mets to tack on an extra run for the 7-3 lead.

While deGrom was not his sharpest in the first inning — needing 26 pitches to get through it, allowing a 111 mph double to Oneil Cruz before striking out the next three batters — he eventually settled in, and in dominant fashion. He went on to retire the next 15 batters in a row, 13 by strikeouts.

The Pirates did not record another base runner until Zack Collins led off the sixth inning with a single up the middle and Jason Delay followed with a bloop single to right field.

Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom is pulled in the sixth inning against the Pirates, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022.
Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom is pulled in the sixth inning against the Pirates.
Corey Sipkin/New York Post

Cruz came up next and sent deGrom’s 101st pitch of the day to the Pirates’ bullpen, crushing a three-run homer that tied the game 3-3 and left Citi Field stunned.

That marked the end of deGrom’s day, putting a damper on what had otherwise been a shutdown outing.

After Seth Lugo relieved deGrom in the sixth inning, Joely Rodriguez delivered two perfect innings with five strikeouts to earn the win.

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