BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jacob deGrom, wearing an NYPD cap in honor of first responders on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, pitched six strong innings and the New York Mets backed him in a big way, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 18-1 Friday night.
In addition to the police department, caps for the fire department, Port Authority police, Department of Sanitation and Office of Emergency Management were worn by the Mets.
“Everybody remembers that day and exactly where they were, how much that stopped the world and witnessed how many great men rose to that occasion,” Mets manager Luis Rojas, who wore an FDNY hat, said before the game. “It’s special for me that to be wearing this. For the people who were directly involved that day. I’m proud and honored just to be representing.”
DeGrom (4-1) struck out nine and held the Blue Jays to three hits, two walks and a first-inning run, his 13th straight start allowing no more than two earned runs, the most by a Mets pitcher since Johan Santana in 2008-09.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner lowered his ERA to a league-leading 1.67 on a night where the gametime temperature was 61 degrees and fell to the mid-50s by the end.
“Run support is always a plus," said deGrom, who hasn't always gotten a lot of offensive backing. “I wanted them to score as many runs as they could. I did the best I did to stay loose in the dugout. I knew it was cool, so I continued to move around. But there wasn't a time where I thought, ‘OK this is enough.’”
Rojas was also glad to see deGrom working at his peak.
“This is the best version of Jake deGrom that I've seen," Rojas said. “Stuff-wise, demeanor-wise, confidence-wise, he wants the ball and he's pushing for this team to keep winning and get into playoff position. He's in a good spot.”