Mets RHP Jacob deGrom threw eight strong innings for the third straight start but made MLB history with his extremely low ERA and extremely low win total in Monday's 3-2 loss to the San Diego Padres at Citi Field.
DeGrom (5-5) became the first pitcher in MLB history to have an ERA below 2.00 in his first 20 starts of a season and win fewer than seven games.
He is on pace to become the first pitcher in modern MLB history to throw 200 or more innings, have an ERA under 2.00, and win nine games or fewer.
On Monday, he struck out 10 batters and allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits in eight innings as his ERA "ballooned" from 1.68 to 1.71.
He cruised through the first four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. After Christian Villanueva reached on a Jose Bautista error, Freddy Galvis hit an RBI single that tied the game at 1. The next batter, Manuel Margot, followed with an RBI triple to put the Padres ahead 2-1.
After Wil Myers hit a leadoff double in the sixth inning, shortstop Amed Rosario made another error that allowed Eric Hosmer to reach and Myers to score that put the Mets in a 3-1 hole.
"The goal is to pick the guys up there," deGrom said. "Frustrated I wasn't able to make the pitches when I need to."
DeGrom managed to settle down afterward, retiring eight of the last nine batters he faced. However it's the third straight start -- and fourth time this season -- that deGrom has pitched at least eight innings, allowed three or fewer runs and not come away with a victory.
DeGrom's ERA is still best in the majors, and while he has been among the best pitchers in the game this season, his record doesn't reflect it. In his last five starts, deGrom is 0-3 with a 2.25 ERA, striking out 39 batters in 36 innings.
In fact, according to Sports Info Solutions' Mark Simon, deGrom has nine starts this season in which he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in at least seven innings and not come away with the victory. No other pitcher has more than four such outings.
"We know what we have," Mets assistant GM John Ricco said before Monday's game about the potential of trading deGrom. "He's one of the top pitchers in the game,"