MIAMI — While Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom dominated the majors last season with a 1.70 earned run average and 269 strikeouts, the Marlins, of all teams, offered the most resistance.
Against all other opponents, deGrom posted a 1.51 E.R.A. But against Miami, he put up a 3.12.
It did not seem to add up.
DeGrom, the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the National League, offered a correction Wednesday night as the Mets rolled to victory, 6-4.
“Tonight, that was probably the best I’ve felt in a long time,” said deGrom, who tied Bob Gibson for a major league record with his 26th consecutive quality start. “I felt smooth.”
To start, deGrom struck out three batters over the course of two scoreless innings. In the third inning, the pitcher — known for his lack of run support last season — provided himself some offensive help by blasting Trevor Richards’s first pitch — a 90 mile-per-hour fastball — off a sign at the bottom of the second deck in right field, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.
DeGrom had the ball in his locker after the game.
“I told Nimmo, I’m not taking the first pitch,” deGrom said, referring to Brandon Nimmo, the next hitter up. “I was fortunate enough to be on time.”
By the end of his night, after pitching seven innings, deGrom had recorded a new career high with 14 strikeouts. He also extended his scoreless streak to 26 innings.
“I felt like I was mechanically really good tonight,” said deGrom, who had worked between starts on raising his throwing arm faster.
His towering shot was the second home run of his career, and it helped him gain his second victory of the season. The win finished off a three-game sweep that improved the Mets’ record to 5-1.
If the Mets want to contend this season, they cannot waste deGrom’s starts the way they did last year. He finished 2018 with a record of 10-9 because of his team’s offensive failures when he was on the mound.
On Wednesday night, the Mets moved quickly to score runs for their ace. In the second inning, Keon Broxton was the first man aboard, with a single to right. Shortstop Amed Rosario followed with a triple to the opposite field that hit the bottom of the wall in right-center, allowing Broxton to score all the way from first.
DeGrom’s homer made it 2-0, and Pete Alonso, the Mets’ rookie first baseman, made it 3-0 two batters later with a double that drove in Nimmo. The Mets also scored on a seventh-inning double by Robinson Cano and a pair of singles in the eighth from Dominic Smith and Wilson Ramos.
It was the kind of offensive effort the team hoped for behind deGrom, 30, who has been dominating batters just as he did in 2018.
Against the Washington Nationals on opening day, deGrom struck out 10 in six scoreless innings, and on Wednesday he mowed through the Marlins with similar ease. Still on cruise control in the seventh inning, he ended the frame by fooling Chad Wallach with a changeup on his 114th and final pitch of the game.
The Mets bullpen, which the team had hoped would be a strength this season, made things unnecessarily dramatic in the ninth, with Luis Avilan and Robert Gsellman combining to allow four runs to score, but Edwin Diaz, the team’s new closer, came in and slammed the door.
“When you come in, you’ve got to start executing pitches right away,” Manager Mickey Callaway said of his relievers’ struggles. “You can’t be throwing pitches in the middle.”
In addition to the win, the Mets received welcome medical news earlier in the day. The X-rays for left fielder Brandon Nimmo, who had been struck by a pitch on his left hand the night before, came back negative and he passed a grip test. Back in the lineup, with a hand strong enough for him to bat leadoff, Nimmo drew a walk and scored a run. He also struck out four times.
“I think we dodged a bullet,” Nimmo said.