Mets’ Jacob deGrom leaves with flexor tendinitis in win vs Padres

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NEW YORK — Jacob deGrom was pulled from a do-it-all gem with right flexor tendinitis, a troubling diagnosis for the New York Mets that clouded a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

DeGrom (6-2) faced the minimum over six innings and ripped a two-run single, giving him five RBIs this season – compared to four earned runs allowed. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner’s 0.56 ERA is the lowest ever by a pitcher through 10 starts, just ahead of Juan Marichal’s 0.59 in 1966.

DeGrom left after 80 pitches and extending his scoreless streak to 22 innings, shaking hands with manager Luis Rojas in the dugout after getting through the sixth. New York announced his injury two innings later.

Facing San Diego and star slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. for the second time in six days, deGrom had a no-hit bid until Wil Myers beat the shift with a weak grounder in the fifth. Myers was caught stealing by catcher James McCann a few pitches later.

He was the only runner to reach against deGrom, who struck out 10 despite the abbreviated outing. New York has been limiting his workload since an injured list stint in May with right side tightness. The 32-year-old deGrom had Tommy John surgery as a minor leaguer in 2010.

Billy McKinney drove in a run with the first of his two doubles in the fifth, and deGrom followed with his two-run hit.

DeGrom won a third straight start in the same season for the first time since August 2018.

San Diego dropped its third straight. Blake Snell (2-3) allowed three runs in four-plus innings, and the Padres couldn’t do enough damage against New York’s bullpen.

Right-hander Miguel Castro replaced deGrom for the seventh and allowed a double by Tatis and a two-run homer by Jake Cronenworth before exiting with neck stiffness.

Aaron Loup took the mound in the eighth but left with two outs after being hit in the chest by a comebacker. Closer Edwin Diaz got the last out and three more in the ninth – including Tatis’ third strikeout of the game – for his 11th save. New York moved seven games over .500 for the first time tis season.

In the fifth, the left-hitting deGrom faked a bunt and nearly swung out of his shoes on Snell’s first offering with runners at first and second and no outs, but he missed. Snell balked before the next pitch, advancing McKinney and Jose Peraza. That allowed them to score easily when deGrom laced a single toward left-center field.

That was the final pitch for Snell, who took a no-hitter into the seventh against New York in his previous outing. Despite stranding the bases loaded in the fourth with an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play, he left trailing 3-0 – the Padres have scored three runs or fewer in all 13 of the left-hander’s starts.

The Mets increased capacity with virus protocols easing, and roughly 26,637 came to Queens ready to cheer for their ace. DeGrom was showered with “MVP” chants before the game, then again after striking out Tatis – a potential competitor for the award – in the first inning.

The chants returned when deGrom punched out Tatis again in the fourth – part of a stretch when he struck out five of six – and peaked after his hit in the fifth.

Over the past two starts against the star-studded Padres, deGrom has thrown 13 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and a walk with 21 strikeouts.

He entered the game with 121 pitches this season thrown 100 mph or harder, and he topped that mark seven more times. No other starter had more than 10 such pitches before Friday.

DeGrom got his 100th strikeout when Tatis went down swinging in the fourth, reaching the mark in 61 2/3 innings – the fewest innings to reach 100 punchouts in a season since the mound was moved to 60 feet, six inches in 1893, per ESPN.

McKinney had two hits and improved to 13 for 43 with five doubles and 12 RBIs since being acquired by New York on May 26.

Mets left-hander Aaron Loup also left with an apparent injury after taking a line drive to the chest in the eighth inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: CF Trent Grisham (left heel bruise) played his second rehab game with Triple-A El Paso. Manager Jayce Tingler said Grisham is likely to rejoin the club during a series early next weekin Colorado but could be back as soon as Sunday for the series finale against New York.

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco had a PRP injection on his injured right hamstring after struggling to regain strength in the muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week, but acting general manager Zack Scott is still hopeful he can return some time in July. … 2B Jeff McNeil (hamstring) could begin a rehab assignment Sunday. … INF Luis Guillorme (oblique) was activated from the IL and INF Travis Blankenhorn was optioned to Triple-A. Guillorme grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. … RHP Nick Tropeano was claimed off waivers from San Francisco and optioned to Triple-A. RHP Tommy Hunter (back) was transferred to the 60-day IL.

UP NEXT

Padres RHP Joe Musgrove (4-5, 2.33) faces Mets RHP Marcus Stroman (5-4, 2.41) in a showdown of veteran pitchers who are currently with their hometown teams.

Report: Brandon Nimmo staying with Mets on 8-year, $162M deal

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NEW YORK – Center fielder Brandon Nimmo is staying with the free-spending New York Mets, agreeing to an eight-year, $162 million contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement is subject to a successful physical and no announcement had been made.

A quality leadoff hitter with an excellent eye and a .385 career on-base percentage, Nimmo became a free agent last month for the first time. He was a key performer as the Mets returned to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2016.

The left-handed hitter batted .274 with 16 homers and a team-high 102 runs, a career high. He also set career bests with 64 RBIs and 151 games played. His seven triples tied for most in the National League.

Bringing back Nimmo means New York is poised to return its entire everyday lineup intact from a team that tied for fifth in the majors in runs and won 101 regular-season games – second-most in franchise history.

But the Mets remain busy replenishing a pitching staff gutted by free agency, including Jacob deGrom‘s departure for Texas and Taijuan Walker‘s deal with Philadelphia that was pending a physical.

On the final day of baseball’s winter meetings Wednesday, the Mets completed an $86.7 million, two-year contract with former Houston ace Justin Verlander that includes a conditional $35 million player option for 2025. New York also retained All-Star closer Edwin Diaz last month with a $102 million, five-year contract, and the team has a $26 million, two-year agreement in place with veteran starter Jose Quintana, pending a physical.

Those moves add to a payroll that was the largest in the majors last season. Under owner Steve Cohen, who bought the Mets in November 2020, New York became baseball’s biggest spender this year for the first time since 1989. The Mets’ payroll was $273.9 million as of Aug. 31, with final figures that include bonuses yet to be compiled.

Nimmo was selected by New York with the No. 13 pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He declined a $19.65 million qualifying offer from the Mets last month.

The 29-year-old Wyoming native made his big league debut in 2016. He is a .269 career hitter with 63 homers, 213 RBIs and 23 triples in 608 games. He has an .827 career OPS and has improved his play in center, becoming a solid defender.

Nimmo’s new deal with the Mets was first reported by the New York Post.