Weather permitting, Jacob deGrom and Mets eye sweep of Phils

MLB Baseball

The New York Mets’ offense hasn’t supported Jacob deGrom through his first two starts. Now the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner might be let down by Mother Nature.

Weather permitting, deGrom will seek his first win of the season Thursday afternoon, when the Mets look to complete a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

deGrom (0-1, 0.64 ERA) is slated to oppose Zach Eflin (0-0, 3.46 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

The Mets beat the Phillies for the third time in a little more than 24 hours Wednesday night, when David Peterson earned the win after allowing two hits and tying a career-high with 10 strikeouts over six innings in a 5-1 victory.

The three games in two days for the Mets equaled the total they played in the five days prior to Tuesday’s doubleheader. The scheduled series opener against the Phillies was postponed by rain Monday, as was New York’s series finale against the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon, when the game began on time but was suspended after Marcus Stroman threw just nine pitches in the top of the first.

The Mets fielded some criticism on social media — from Stroman as well as outside the organization — for the decision to try to play Sunday. deGrom is not likely to voice his displeasure on Twitter, but with rain in the forecast all afternoon Thursday, Mets manager Luis Rojas said Wednesday he’s been keeping an eye on the weather and acknowledged the team will have to be careful in deciding whether to risk a shortened or aborted afternoon for its ace.

“We’ll have to see how the forecast is — what’s actually happening and what we can see in a smaller time frame (to) when we’re not too close to the game but we’re (far enough) that deGrom doesn’t even have to start his routine or anything like that,” Rojas said.

Mother Nature has had little to do with the Phillies’ recent struggles. Philadelphia has lost five of its last six games, a span in which it has scored 16 runs and been held to three or fewer runs four times.

The Phillies didn’t record a hit Wednesday until Jean Segura homered with one out in the fifth. Philadelphia had runners at the corners with one out in a 2-1 game in the seventh, but Aaron Loup induced Didi Gregorius to hit into a double play, and then Loup and Edwin Diaz set down the final six batters.

“As a team, as a club, we have to be better, especially in that batter’s box right now,” right fielder Bryce Harper said.

deGrom took another hard-luck loss in his most recent start last Saturday, when he allowed one run and tied a career-high with 14 strikeouts as the Mets fell to the Marlins, 3-0. It was the 34th time deGrom has not won despite pitching at least seven innings and surrendering two runs or fewer.

Eflin didn’t factor into the decision last Saturday, when he gave up four runs over six innings in the Phillies’ 5-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

DeGrom, who twirled six scoreless innings in his Opening Day start April 5 before the Phillies overcame a two-run deficit against the Mets’ bullpen, is 8-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 18 starts against Philadelphia. Eflin is 3-4 with a 5.21 ERA in 11 starts against New York.

–Field Level Media

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