Measure by the total number of runs the Mets have scored in games that he's started, or by the runs they've scored when he's actually an active member of those games. It doesn't matter. In either case, deGrom ranks among the bottom handful of Major League pitchers in average run support, right alongside teammate Matt Harvey.
Much of that is a product of the fact that the Mets have scored fewer runs overall than any team in the Majors since May 1, signing Jose Reyes and promoting No. 4 prospect Brandon Nimmo on Saturday in an overt attempt to combat that trend. But deGrom has absorbed a disproportionate amount of the Mets' ineffectiveness of late; they have gone 21 consecutive innings without scoring a run while he has been in a game, and have plated a total of two for him over his last 35 innings.
"You want to support him," Johnson said. "Everybody knows about our pitching. You've got to score runs, and give them just the confidence to go out there and throw their game, and not have to worry about that kind of thing. Right now, it's been one of those stretches where runs are hard to come by. Obviously, they're picking us up in a big way. Hopefully, we can help support them a little better going forward."
Johnson's homer, at least, ensured that deGrom would remain adept at generating no-decisions. He has six of them in his last 10 starts, despite -- or rather, because of -- a 3.13 ERA over that stretch.
So troubled was the Mets' offense on Saturday that manager Terry Collins pulled struggling outfielder Alejandro De Aza aside after a bunt double play in the top of the 10th, which occurred because De Aza slammed his bat to the ground instead of immediately running to first. The Mets finished 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position against Braves starter Julio Teheran, who just so happens to have similar run support issues as deGrom.