Dodgers struggle against ace Jacob deGrom in loss to Mets

Dave Roberts billed it as a potential post-season pitching matchup.

If so, he better hopes the Dodgers do much better against Jacob deGrom in October.

In a 2-1 loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday night, the Dodgers never quite cracked the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

They were hitless for the first four innings. They didn’t get their first run until the sixth. And for a team that started the night as baseball’s leaders in most offensive categories, it looked broadly topped for one of the few times this year.

“He was Jacob deGrom — he threw 100-mph fastballs and located the slider,” said third baseman Justin Turner.

“He’s pretty much the best,” added outfielder Mookie Betts. “It’s a tough job.”

Betts hit a home run and hit his career high with his 32nd of the season.

Justin Turner probably should have had one, too, being deprived of a potential game-defining blast in the seventh inning by Brandon Nimmo’s jumping catch in midfield.

And in one night, left-hander Tyler Anderson scattered eight hits to limit the Mets to two runs over seven innings, the Dodgers were never out, the result wasn’t sealed until Edwin Díaz, who got closer to the Mets, to a live trumpet performance of his Appearing, Song trotted in in the ninth and pulled the page in order.

“It was a pitcher duel,” Roberts said. “A really good baseball game to be a part of.”

Just not the biggest harbinger of things to come for the Dodgers.

From the start, deGrom acted. He combined edge-of-the-zone fastballs and hard-hitting sliders with righties. He mixed in changeups and curveballs to lefties. And he kept the Dodgers off balance and off-beat by taking a walk in the first inning before giving up 12 straight to put a no-hit bid in the fifth.

Turner finally finished it off with a seeing-eye single that crept through the left side of the infield.

Then, in the sixth, Betts capitalized on a rare mistake, launching a hanging slider down the left fieldwall to cut the Dodgers’ deficit in half — after a two-run homer by Starling Marte late in the third.

However, the Dodgers would not score again.

Turner came closest with his ride in the seventh, completing the near-impossible task of straightening a 99.6-mph deGrom four-knife only to watch Nimmo jump into the wall and latch onto it at the last second.

“Great game by Nimmo,” Turner said. “Not much that can be done about it.”

DeGrom ended his night a stroke later with his ninth strikeout, bringing his season ERA — he’s only made six starts after missing the first half with a shoulder blade injury — to 1.98.

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom throws to first base.

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom throws to first base as Dodgers’ Trea Turner took a lead off base during the first inning Wednesday in New York.

(Adam Hunger/Associated Press)

“We knew what we were getting into with Jacob tonight,” Roberts said. “That’s why he’s the best in the game when he’s right.”

The question now: Do the Dodgers have to face the 34-year-old ace in October?

The Dodgers (90-39) have all but secured the top spot in the National League and still lead the Mets (83-48) by eight games after Wednesday’s loss. The Mets will likely be No. 2 or 4 depending on whether they hold off the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.

Anyhow, they seem likely to be anyone to cross paths with the Dodgers in either a five-game divisional series or possibly a seven-game league championship series.

So did the Dodgers learn something they can later put down in their first meeting with deGrom since 2019 on Wednesday?

The answers in the clubhouse after the game were varied.

Turner wasn’t interested in speculation, saying that “we’ve got a lot of baseball to do before we get to this point.”

Betts was also careful not to put too much emphasis on one game.

“It can’t hurt,” he said. “But then times will be different. Emotions and all these things play a role in this. So I can’t really simulate today compared to October.”

Roberts was more pragmatic, noting that deGrom — who had never been credited with a career win against the Dodgers, the only NL team he had yet to beat — threw fewer fastballs and more off-speed pitches than expected.

“It’s something we have to keep in mind, yes he can go to the secondaries if needed,” Roberts said.

Still, it might be best for the Dodgers to avoid deGrom entirely.

You’ve consistently hit good and even great pitches this year. But what they saw on Wednesday was something else entirely.

“I don’t think anyone does,” Betts said when asked if another pitcher was comparable to deGrom. “I think the stats say so too.” Dodgers struggle against ace Jacob deGrom in loss to Mets

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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