The Sports Xchange
By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange
DeGrom outduels Peavy in Mets' win vs. Giants
NEW YORK -- For a while Saturday night, it was impossible to figure out who would be the tougher foe for New York Mets right-handed pitcher Jacob deGrom: his pitch count or his San Francisco Giants pitching counterpart, Jake Peavy.
DeGrom carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Peavy took a perfect game into the seventh before the Mets scored four runs off the right-hander and held on for a 4-2 win at Citi Field.
"I was wondering about the fifth inning what the other scoreboards around the league were saying," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Nobody in Citi Field's got a hit yet."
It was the second time this season pitchers have carried dueling no-hitters into the seventh inning. Milwaukee's Matt Garza and Atlanta's Aaron Harang had matching no-hit bids broken up in the seventh on April 2.
"I knew we didn't have a hit off him, either," deGrom said. "But I was just trying to stick with the game plan we had and keep going after them."
Collins, meanwhile, was consumed with the thought of having to go get deGrom while the rookie right-hander pursued the second no-hitter -- or first perfect game -- in Mets history.
Collins said deGrom wouldn't throw more than 105 pitches because he threw 114 pitches -- the second-most of his career -- in his previous start Sunday in Milwaukee.
"So you're sitting in the dugout tonight, knowing he's only going to throw about 105, saying to yourself, 'Well this is beautiful. He's got a perfect game going and I'm going to have to go get him at 105,'" Collins said.
Collins didn't have to worry about yanking deGrom in the middle of a perfect game after deGrom walked Giants first baseman Brandon Belt with two outs in the fifth. And Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval ended the agony for Collins on deGrom's 88th pitch, hitting a double into the left-center gap with two outs in the seventh.
DeGrom escaped the seventh by retiring left fielder Michael Morse on a grounder to third, but Peavy was not as fortunate once his gem was broken up in the bottom of the inning.
Peavy, making his second start for the Giants since being acquired from Boston on July 26, set down the first 19 batters on just 71 pitches before Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy doubled over the head of Morse, who appeared to get a bad read on the ball.
Third baseman David Wright singled and first baseman Lucas Duda was hit by a pitch to load the bases for catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who lofted a sacrifice fly to right. Center fielder Juan Lagares followed with an RBI single and shortstop Wilmer Flores then delivered a two-run double.
DeGrom was chased with one out in the eighth after giving up three hits, including a two-run single to pinch hitter Travis Ishikawa. Right-hander Jeurys Familia recorded the final two outs to strand Ishikawa, and right-hander Jenrry Mejia earned his 16th save by working around two hits in the ninth.
DeGrom, who struck out seven over the career-high 7 1/3 innings, has vaulted into the National League Rookie of the Year race by going 6-1 with a 1.52 ERA over his last eight starts.
"I felt really good today," deGrom said. "That extra day always helps, especially when (it) gets a little later in the season."
Overall, deGrom -- whom Baseball America ranked as the Mets' 10th-best prospect before the season -- is 6-5 with a 2.77 ERA and leads all NL rookies in innings, starts and strikeouts.
"For a guy that (has) flown under the radar, he's certainly being talked about now," Collins said.
The Mets (53-57) have won seven of their last 11 games.
For Peavy, a perfect game that snowballed into a defeat in one inning provided an appropriate summation of a tough-luck season. Peavy, who had never carried a no-hitter beyond 5 1/3 innings before, lost his 11th straight decision to fall to 1-11. He struck out four in seven innings.
"At the end of the day, you are trying to put up zeroes," Peavy said. "And their guy did an outstanding job. I did not do enough."
Belt had two hits for the Giants (59-51), who had their two-game winning streak snapped as they scored three runs or less for the eighth time in 10 games.
NOTES: The Giants activated 1B Brandon Belt from the seven-day concussion disabled list and optioned OF Jarrett Parker to Triple-A Fresno. Belt batted sixth Saturday in his first game action of any kind since he was hit in the head during batting practice July 19. ... Giants OF Angel Pagan (back strain), who has been out since June 15, was scheduled to play in his second rehab game Saturday for the Giants' rookie-level Arizona League affiliate. ... Mets RHP Jacob deGrom batted eighth for the fourth time in 15 big league starts. LF Eric Young has batted ninth each time deGrom has batted eighth. ... Mets RHP Jeremy Hefner (Tommy John surgery) made his fourth rehab start Friday, when he allowed two runs in four innings for Class A St. Lucie.
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