Colin Rea (3-1, 3.82 ERA) held the New York Mets (17-10) hitless through the first six-and-two-third innings of the San Diego Padres’ (12-17) eventual 5-3 victory in front of 21,608 at Petco Park on Thursday night. Rea finished his night by tossing eight-plus innings and allowing just three hits, one earned run and striking out five batters.
It wasn’t until Yoenis Cespedes beat an infield shift in the seventh inning — grounding a ball to a vacated area near second base — that the Mets recorded their first hit. Thus, the Padres remain the only team in Major League Baseball without a no-hitter in their franchises history. However, Rea knew his stuff was on point.
“I knew warming up I felt good,” Rea said to the San Diego Union-Tribune following his winning start. “When you’re on the same page with your catcher, it’s like you’re reading each others’ minds… I definitely would have liked to finish out and shake Dino’s hand.”
Had Rea completed the no-no, it would’ve been the third time in the last two seasons that the Mets were no-hit. Chris Heston (6/9/2015) and Max Scherzer (10/3/2015) both no-hit the Mets during their run to the World Series last season. The Mets have been no-hit six other times in their history with Sandy Koufax, Jim Bunning, Bob Moose, Bill Stoneman, Ed Halicki, and Darryl Kile being the other six to complete the feat (via NoNoHitters.com).
Rea also helped his own cause, driving in a run with an RBI single in the second inning.
In the ninth inning, Rea sought a complete game shutout, but a Curtis Granderson’s fifth home run of the year ended his night. Left-handed reliever Brad Hand came on to close things down but a walk to David Wright and Cespedes’ ninth HR of the year made things interesting.
That two-run HR by Cespedes gives him 27 RBI for the year, tying him with Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo for the second-most in the National League (third-most in MLB).
However, Fernando Rodney came on to convert his seventh save in seven attempts this season, nailing down the Padres’ 12th win of the year.
Jacob deGrom (3-1, 1.99 ERA) labored through his five innings of work, allowing a season-high eight hits and yielding three earned runs. After the start, deGrom told ESPN that he didn’t like how far he was “falling off toward first base.” He also mentioned that his changeup — a pitch he thinks is his “second-best pitch” — wasn’t falling in for strikes.
“I don’t even know how many hits I gave up when I had guys with two strikes. I just couldn’t put them away — leaving the off-speed in the middle and giving them a chance, and at times throwing it not even close to the zone. Then it goes to 3-2 and there’s a pretty good chance there’s a fastball coming there. And they end up getting a hit off that.”
The trouble started early for deGrom as he allowed a mammoth, 425-foot HR to Padres’ first baseman Wil Myers in the first inning. In addition to Rea’s aforementioned RBI single, deGrom also allowed an RBI double to shortstop Alexei Ramirez in the third inning.
Swingman Logan Verrett took over for deGrom in the sixth inning, allowing a HR to catcher Derek Norris. A throwing error by left fielder Michael Conforto allowed a run to score on a Jon Jay double in the same inning. Verrett settled down to toss a scoreless seventh inning and Hansel Robles did the same in the eighth inning.
Despite a late rally, the Mets lost the first game of an 11-game road trip.
The series continues on Friday evening as the Mets will trot out Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 2.51 ERA) to left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2-3, 2.48).
[Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images]