No matter what setbacks befell the Mets during the first third of this season, they could at least rely on a steadying force in Jacob deGrom. Every five games, deGrom would take the mound, making everything right again in the Mets’ universe.
Then Friday happened. A few hours before deGrom’s scheduled start against the Phillies, the Mets scratched him due to neck tightness. The injury is not serious, and deGrom hopes only to miss one start. But it meant that instead of having arguably the best pitcher on the planet on the mound, they had untested youngster Walker Lockett, who allowed five runs in a 6-5 Mets loss.
After the Mets tied the game on a Robinson Canó RBI single in the top of the ninth, Seth Lugo allowed a walk-off single to Bryce Harper. Michael Conforto attempted to throw Roman Quinn out as he scored from second, but Wilson Ramos could not apply the tag in time.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 15, 2020
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 15, 2020
The early blow was a three-run homer by J.T. Realmuto, who turned a two-run Mets advantage into a one-run Phillies lead. Lockett recovered to strike out four of the final five batters he faced, but by that point, the damage was done.
All of the Mets’ early offense came off starter Spencer Howard, who allowed back-to-back homers to Dominic Smith and Canó in the third.