DeGrom struck out the first eight Miami Marlins batters he faced on Monday night, tying the modern-day major league record to open a game. Jim Deshaies with the Houston Astros struck out the first eight Los Angeles Dodgers he faced in 1986.
Pete Falcone formerly held the Mets record. He opened a 1980 game against the Philadelphia Phillies with six straight strikeouts.
DeGrom finished with 13 strikeouts over 7 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits, but earned a no-decision in the Mets' 6-5 loss in Miami.
DeGrom's streak ended when the No. 9 batter, opposing pitcher Jarred Cosart, produced an opposite-field single through the right side of the infield. Because Cosart arrived from the American League's Astros at the trading deadline, the hit came in only his 17th career major league at-bat. Cosart had only 15 at-bats in his entire minor-league career.
DeGrom, who was fully aware he had struck out the first eight batters, said he thought Cosart would take to drive up his pitch count.
"I threw ball one, so I thought maybe he'd take the next one," deGrom said. "I threw it right down the middle. I was trying to go outside corner and I just left it over the middle."
While deGrom was well aware of the situation, Cosart was in the dark.
"I had no idea," Cosart said. "Any time you can keep the other pitcher out of the history books, it's a good thing."
DeGrom ran his streak to 28 innings without allowing an earned run before the Marlins produced three seventh-inning runs. It was the longest streak by a rookie in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Previous record-holder John Maine had gone 26 innings without allowing an earned run in 2006. Overall, it was the fifth-longest streak in the majors this season, trailing only efforts by Clayton Kershaw (41.0 IP without an earned run), Burke Badenhop (32.1 IP), Wade Davis (30.2 IP) and Kelvin Herrera (29.2 IP).
"I had a good fastball early on," said deGrom, who expects to make two more starts this season. "My two-seamer was moving a lot."
DeGrom, 26, has emerged as a serious challenger to Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
Since allowing six runs and 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings at St. Louis on June 16 to drop to 0-4, deGrom has posted a 1.77 ERA, .210 opponent batting average and 0.996 WHIP in 13 starts entering Monday. Overall, he entered the record-setting start against the Marlins with a 8-6 record and 2.62 ERA.
As for his Rookie of the Year chances, deGrom said: "I really try not to think about it. I just try to go out there and do my best every time."
DeGrom Ties MLB Record In Mets Loss
Jacob deGrom tied a Major League record by striking out the first eight batters he faced in the Mets' 6-5 loss to the Marlins.