Though he was hardly as dominant as he has shown he could be in past starts, Mets RHP Jacob deGrom struck out 12 batters in 6 2/3 strong innings in Monday's 8-5 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
DeGrom's ERA went up from 1.77 to 1.81 after he allowed three runs (two earned), but he pitched a quality start for the 16th consecutive outing as the Mets won for the fourth time in their last five games.
Manager Mickey Callaway said before the game he thought his ace should win the National League Cy Young Award despite not having as many wins as Max Scherzer, who leads the NL with 15, and deGrom did his best to prove him right on Monday.
"I want to win a Cy Young," deGrom said. "I think that every starting pitcher or pitcher in general wants to win as a personal goal. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it. ... It's another thing that's out of my control. I just go out there and do what I can do."
DeGrom (7-7) pitched out of a two-on, two-out jam in the first inning by getting Miguel Andujar to fly out, however he was unable to escape trouble in the third inning.
Giancarlo Stanton grounded into a fielder's choice with two on and nobody out in the third inning and Jeff McNeil's throw sailed over Wilmer Flores' head, moving Stanton to second and allowing Austin Romine to score to put the Yankees on the board. Two batters later, Aaron Hicks tied the game at 2 with an RBI single.
After Jose Bautista's two-run home run gave the Mets the lead for good, deGrom rebounded by retiring 11 of the last 13 batters he faced, save Brett Gardner's double and Didi Gregorius' RBI single in the fifth inning.
In his 24 starts, the Mets have given him three or fewer runs of support 15 times -- including one or fewer runs seven times. This was the second straight outing in which the Mets scored eight runs for him.
"This whole year, he's been an angel, basically, for what we put him through," said Todd Frazier, who homered in the sixth inning.
DeGrom's pitch count was at 104 pitches through six innings but came out for the seventh inning and got Neil Walker to ground out and Romine to strikeout before Callaway took him out for good.
"He's never fazed by the moment," outfielder Brandon Nimmo said after the game. "He makes you confident just by the way he carries himself. We're all trying to be more like him."
His 12 strikeouts were the most he's had in a game since he struck out 13 Cubs on June 2.