Jacob deGrom just didn't have it on Friday, and he put the Mets in such a hole that by the time the bats came alive late in the game, it was too little, too late.
The ace gave up a season-high seven runs (six earned) in five innings in the Mets' 8-6 loss to the Marlins, allowing nine hits -- including a two-run homer -- while striking out just three. His ERA jumped to 3.98 through nine starts.
"Not able to locate after the second inning. Felt good the first two, and then things got kind of out of control. Tonight's on me," deGrom said. "I did a terrible job out there. These guys did nothing but battle, and I let it get out of hand."
The frustrating thing, deGrom says, is the lack of consistency. He said nothing changed physically after the second inning.
"Just not being able to throw the ball where I want to right now," deGrom said. "A couple of good ones, some bad ones before that and now this one. I really don't know."
Mickey Callaway said issues with deGrom's slider, which is what caused his problems earlier this season, were a factor on Friday.
"Not quite getting it there. It's kind of spinning when he doesn't get it there, so it becomes a little easier to hit," Callaway said. "It's really about execution. That's what it's been about when he was going bad early, and that's what it was about tonight."
As rough as things have been for the Mets, if they can't get consistency out of deGrom, they're going to have serious issues.
Wilson Ramos, who went 2-for-4, was Friday's catcher, and after what transpired it wouldn't be a surprise if Tomás Nido is behind the plate for deGrom's next start.
DeGrom is 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three starts pitching to Nido, but is now 1-5 with a 6.39 ERA when pitching to other catchers.
Callaway had no regrets about sticking with deGrom as the game got away from him.
"He's your ace," the manager said. "He's gonna throw his pitches. You're gonna win or lose with him. That's the right thing to do. He's the leader of the staff and he gets that chance."