NEW YORK – Mets righthander Jacob deGrom has been one of the unstoppable forces in baseball, tearing through batting orders, then bringing home the hardware.
And the defending National League Cy Young Award winner came into Tuesday’s start on the verge of setting not just one, but two records.
But the Twins were waiting for deGrom, instead of the other way around.
Starting with a Mitch Garver home run in the second inning, the Twins landed enough blows on deGrom to knock him out of the game after four shaky innings. Starter Kyle Gibson was knocked out in the fifth, but the offense never slowed down as the Twins pummeled the Mets 14-8.
The Twins’ 17-hit attack included six home runs — two apiece from Garver and Jonathan Schoop. And they squared up more than that, producing nine batted balls with an exit velocity of at least 100 mph.
“When we did decide to put swings on the ball, I’m not going to talk about exit velocity very often, [but] that’s a very good sign,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Whether they are homers or doubles or lineouts or hard ground balls. Those are the types of swings that make things happen that score runs that we are after.”
When Garver pounded a slider to center for his home run, it ended deGrom’s scoreless innings streak at 27 innings. It was a bad sign for the Mets ace, whose slider wasn’t missing bats like it normally does.
The Twins scored four more runs in the third to take a 5-1 lead, including a two-run home run by Eddie Rosario as well as Garver’s second homer. That ended any chance of deGrom getting a quality start.
After the Mets scored twice in the third to get within 5-3, deGrom gave up an RBI single to Max Kepler through a drawn-in infield to give the Twins a 6-3 lead — their final lick in on deGrom.
DeGrom entered Tuesday tied with Bob Gibson for the major league record with 26 consecutive quality starts. Gibson achieved his during the 1967-68 seasons, so this is not just any accomplishment.
In four innings, deGrom gave up six earned runs on eight hits and one walk with three strikeouts. He gave up three home runs — after giving up 10 in 217 innings all of last season. He lost the game, as well as a chance to set two records.
“I respect what he does on the mound,” Garver said of deGrom. “I think he’s super talented. I got two pitches I could handle and it worked out best for me. I’m really happy with the process that’s going on and how it’s coming along.”
DeGrom had not given up six earned runs in a game since Sept. 5, 2017.
Gibson lasted just 4 ⅔ innings, leaving with the bases loaded in the fifth. Trevor Hildenberger got the final out of the inning and was awarded the win.
Baldelli ended up using seven pitchers in a the game that lasted 4 hours, 8 minutes. But the offense kept bashing away. The Twins scored seven runs over the final two innings, including home runs by Jorge Polanco and Schoop. The six home runs the Twins hit were their most since Sept. 12, 2017, when they hit seven against San Diego.
“It was really nice to see,” Baldelli said. “Against a guy like [deGrom] it is something you are not going to see a ton of. When you get those nights, you kind of relish them.”