After six innings Saturday at Citi Field, the Mets’ Jacob deGrom had a no-hitter. Jake Peavy had a perfect game.
Things got imperfect in a hurry, though.
Pablo Sandoval doubled to end deGrom’s bid in the top of the seventh, then the Mets did far more damage to Peavy in the bottom of the inning. Left fielder Michael Morse combined a bad first step with a lack of makeup speed as Daniel Murphy doubled, and that opened the door to a four-run inning as the Giants lost 4-2.
In the time it takes to go from 110th St./Corona Plaza to the Citi Field stop on the 7 train, Peavy went from the longest no-hit bid in his career to trailing 4-0. He’s still looking for his first victory since April 25 with the Red Sox. He is winless over his last 17 starts, although he has been more than competitive in his two outings as a Giant.
Brandon Belt was 2 for 3 with a walk in his first game back from the disabled list, and he singled to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth. But Joe Panik grounded out against Mets closer Jennry Mejia to end it.
Starting pitching report
Peavy nearly entered the record books in his second start as a Giant. He worked the front door with two-seamers and the back door with his slider, keeping everything down in the zone, to retire the first 19 batters he faced.
But Murphy lofted a fly ball to left field that Morse couldn’t keep from going over his head, then David Wright blooped another that landed at the left fielder’s feet to put runners at the corners. Peavy, put in the stretch for the first time, could not punch his way out of the inning. He hit Lucas Duda to load the bases, Travis d’Arnaud hit a sacrifice fly, Juan Lagares poked an RBI single through the left side and Wilmer Flores hit a good pitch for a two-run double.
Just like that, Peavy and the Giants trailed 4-0. It was a stunning turn for Peavy, who hadn’t taken a no-hitter past 5 1/3 innings in his career before Saturday.
The Giants have used one inning of relief in two games at Citi Field. Javier Lopez threw 12 pitches to get a strikeout and two ground outs in the eighth.
At the plate
The Giants needed several looks at deGrom before they could begin to figure him out. Brandon Belt’s walk was the only thing separating him from a perfect game before Sandoval picked a pitch off the plate for a double in the seventh.
Belt singled to start a two-run rally in the eighth. Juan Perez, who always seems to hit in New York, doubled for the second consecutive night and Travis Ishikawa followed by swinging at an ankle-high pitch and lashing it off Murphy’s glove at second base for a two-run pinch single. It was Ishikawa’s first hit and RBI as a Giant since Game 1 of the 2010 World Series.
Until Morse’s lumbering attempt in the seventh, it was a game of pure defensive wizardry on both sides.
Lagares sprinted a long way and made a leaping catch near the wall to take an extra-base hit away from Belt in his first at-bat off the concussion disabled list in the second inning.
Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford made a barehand pickup to throw out deGrom in the third, with the Giants winning a replay challenge to get the original safe call overturned.
Eric Young Jr. slid to take a double away from Sandoval in the left field corner in the fifth. Then Hunter Pence matched that play by sliding in the right field corner with his glove on the dirt to catch Flores’ foul fly in the sixth.
Pence also got a great jump and survived a near collision with Perez in right-center to catch Curtis Granderson’s deep drive to the track in the seventh. It appeared just then that Peavy had dodged a bullet. But then the Murphy and the Mets found there was more room out there in left field.
The Giants and Mets continue their four-game series on Sunday at Citi Field. Madison Bumgarner (12-8, 3.41 ERA) takes the mound against Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon (10-8, 3.88). First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 a.m.