A juggling of the New York Mets’ rotation seemingly left them in prime position to earn a sweep of a two-game series against the Minnesota Twins. But after Jacob deGrom’s worst performance in 19 months, the Mets will be the ones looking to avoid the wrong end of the broom when they host the Twins on Wednesday night.
Minnesota took advantage of a rare off night by deGrom in Tuesday’s series opener, when Mitch Garver tied a career high with four hits and homered twice off deGrom in a 14-8 win.
DeGrom, who was moved up a day in the rotation so that he wouldn’t go a week in between starts, entered Tuesday having given up three runs or fewer in a record 31 straight starts. But he was tagged for six runs in four innings by the Twins — the most runs he’s surrendered in a start since Sept. 5, 2017.
DeGrom also saw his streak of quality starts end at a record-tying 26. He shares the mark with Hall of Fame righty Bob Gibson, who produced his streak during the 1967 and ’68 seasons.
The Mets’ Noah Syndergaard (0-1, 4.50) is scheduled to face the Twins’ Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 6.75) in a battle of right-handers. Syndergaard was also moved up a day, with fifth starter Jason Vargas moved back to Saturday in order to keep Syndergaard from pitching on six days’ rest.
Syndergaard will be tasked with cooling off the Twins, who heated up in a hurry on a damp night in which the first-pitch temperature was 46 degrees. Minnesota hit seven homers in its first eight games before launching six long balls Tuesday — even though designated hitter Nelson Cruz didn’t play in the interleague game and first baseman C.J. Cron didn’t start. Cruz and Cron combined for 67 homers last season for the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively.
“They did a good job of barreling a lot of balls up tonight, not only off of Jacob,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters after the game. “They have a talented team. We’re going to have to come ready to play (Wednesday).”
Jonathan Schoop also homered twice Tuesday while Eddie Rosario and Jorge Polanco went deep once each for the Twins.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that can swing it really well and they’re starting to click a little bit,” said Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson, who didn’t factor into the decision after giving up three runs over 4 2/3 innings. “It’s good to see Schoopy do that. Garver, we’ve always known he’s had that compact pop, as I like to call it. But that was fun to watch.”
Syndergaard took the loss in his most recent outing last Thursday, when he gave up two runs on just one hit and two walks while striking out six over six innings as the Mets fell in their home opener to the Washington Nationals 4-0.
Odorizzi took the loss in the shortest start of his career last Friday, when he gave up five runs (four earned) while recording just two outs as the Twins absorbed a 10-4 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Syndergaard has never faced the Twins. He is 5-3 with a 3.96 ERA in 12 interleague games (11 starts).
Odorizzi didn’t factor into the decision in his lone career start against the Mets on Aug. 7, 2015, while he was with the Tampa Bay Rays. Odorizzi gave up one run over 6 2/3 innings as the Rays fell 4-3. He is 9-5 with a 3.47 ERA in 24 career interleague starts.
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