On Friday night, Aaron Nola showed why he is on the short list of candidates for the Cy Young Award. On Saturday, one of his main rivals for that honor was even better. Jacob deGrom pitched a complete game, endured through a rain delay, and the only run he allowed was unearned.
Despite his dominance this season, deGrom entered the game with a middling 7-7 record. This showed that even the best pitchers can’t do it themselves. Unfortunately for the Phillies, Jeff McNeil provided him with all the support he needed. The Mets’ second baseman singled and then scored the Mets’ first run in the fourth inning. In the seventh, he tripled home a very important insurance run.
If that wasn’t enough, McNeil also stood out in the field:
The type of play that makes you go "wow."@JeffMcNeil805 makes it look easy again! pic.twitter.com/rOwt3wHn99— New York Mets (@Mets) August 18, 2018
While he wasn’t as dominant as deGrom, Phillies starter Jake Arrieta was pretty good in his own right. He only allowed one run in his six innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter. After he departed, Luis Garcia gave up two more runs on a Devin Mesoraco homer and McNeil’s triple.
Normally, three runs isn’t an insurmountable total, but with deGrom on top of his game, that was more than enough. Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco both had two hits, but the team was never able to sustain much of a rally. The Phillies scratched out an unearned run in the seventh, but that was all they could manage.
With the win, the Mets evened the five-game series at two apiece. The teams will head to Williamsport tomorrow to settle matters in front of the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball cameras.