NEW YORK — Even without his sharpest stuff, Jacob deGrom got the Mets off to a successful start at home.
He also gave Matt Harvey a nice round number to match: zero.
The reigning NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom pitched into the seventh inning as New York beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0 on April 13 to win its home opener.
“It was a lot of fun. I was looking forward to it ever since they announced it,” deGrom said. “My offspeed wasn’t really that good and I was having a hard time locating my fastball, so I really had to bear down mentally.”
Juan Lagares drove in a run with an infield single, Travis d’Arnaud added a sacrifice fly and the Mets improved to 34-20 in home openers, including 4-3 at Citi Field. They’ve won 18 of their last 24 games against NL East rival Philadelphia.
New York scratched out just enough offense against Aaron Harang and the Phillies’ bullpen to make a winner of deGrom (1-1), one day before Harvey gets the ball for his first home start since August 2013.
“I’ve seen him enough to know that there’s a lot more in there,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said of deGrom. “So it’s good to get this one out of the way. Now we get to see the big boy tomorrow. That’ll be fun.”
The shaggy-haired deGrom gave up seven hits in 6 1-3 innings before a sellout crowd of 43,947 that included Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and Matthew Broderick. The only time more fans packed the park was the 2013 All-Star Game started by Harvey.
“Well, we’ve been doing a lot of yapping about how this team can compete. And our fan base said, ‘OK, we’re going to come and see it.’ So today was a big step forward for us,” Collins said. “Hope the guys enjoyed it, because we hope to fill this place again this summer, for sure.”
Second baseman Daniel Murphy made a nice defensive play to help Carlos Torres pitch out of a seventh-inning jam. And with the Mets on their third closer since opening day last year, Jeurys Familia got a double-play ball in the ninth and earned his second save.
Murphy doubled to right with one out in the fourth — a male fan sprayed his drink over Grady Sizemore as he neared the screened fence — and advanced when d’Arnaud flied out to right.
Lagares then hit a comebacker that was knocked down by a twisting Harang (1-1). But the 36-year-old righty stumbled awkwardly for a moment on the mound and was slow to retrieve the ball. By the time he threw to first, Lagares beat the play for an RBI single.
“Spikes got caught,” Harang said. “I just caught it right off the end of my glove. Another 1/8 of an inch and it’s in my web and I’m able to just set and turn and throw.”
New York added a run in the eighth after Murphy’s hard one-hopper, which could have been turned into an inning-ending double play, went through the legs of second baseman Chase Utley for an error.
Michael Cuddyer scored and had two hits in his first home game for the Mets, including a fly-ball triple that Sizemore lost in the sun.
(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer)