With one out on the seventh inning of the Mets' 4-1 loss to the Cubs on Thursday, Jacob deGrom was cruising.
Despite allowing a home run to Victor Caratini in the second inning, the right-hander recovered to retire the next 15 batters he faced. But Kris Bryant hit a looping line drive that didn't even reach Amed Rosario at short, who was unable to field the tricky hop.
Javy Baez came up next and dribbled a ball up the middle that found its way into center to set the stage for Caratini, who delivered his second home run of the game and made it a 4-1 game.
"It was the same pitch he hit out for the first home run," deGrom said. "Slider up and somehow he kept it fair. So, I've got to tip my hat to him. It wasn't exactly where I wanted it but to keep that ball fair after coming in on him with some pretty good pitches... It's pretty impressive."
Manager Mickey Callaway thought deGrom was excellent overall, but ran into a combination of bad luck and good hitting in the seventh.
"The first two guys that got on [in the seventh], they just squeaked them through," Callaway said. "And then Caratini, it was the second slider he hit out of the day. He was probably trying to go back foot. But I was thinking right along with Jake. He was set up for a back-foot slider perfectly and he would have swung right over it. He just didn't get it where he wanted to get it."
"He was dealing but that's the thing. Guys are on a roll until they're not on a roll. That's how this game goes. That was a tough one."
DeGrom had a similar assessment of the fateful pitch to the Cubs' first baseman.
"It's probably not exactly where I wanted to put it," deGrom said. "It's up and in, that's tough to keep fair, a slider in like that. I wanted it more down, toward the back foot, but I left it up and he got me."
Despite allowing just one run through his first six innings, the Mets didn't provide deGrom with much support. J.D. Davis hit a home run in the first inning, but the Mets didn't push anything else across, and it left deGrom trying to match Cubs pitcher Jon Lester each time he came to the mound.
"That one stings," deGrom said. "It felt like I had really good stuff. I wasn't able to go out there and put up a zero in the seventh, and it kind of cost us the game."