Perfect through six, Peavy unravels in seventh
Righty allows 4 runs, drops 11th straight decision in duel with deGrom
NEW YORK -- Told that Jake Peavy lost his 11th consecutive decision Saturday night as the Giants fell to the New York Mets, 4-2, San Francisco left fielder Michael Morse fell silent with amazement.
"Wow," Morse eventually said. "You'd never know it, the way he goes about his business."
Peavy conducted business perfectly for 6 1/3 innings. That's no exaggeration. He retired every Mets batter he faced through that stretch. But Mets rookie Jacob deGrom no-hit the Giants for 6 2/3 innings, generating fantasies of history unfolding.
Fantasy ultimately degenerated into reality for the Giants, as the Mets relied on a four-run seventh-inning outburst to claim the victory before 33,687 Citi Field patrons.
As Morse indicated, fathoming Peavy as a constant loser is difficult, if not impossible. Particularly since the 133-game winner, who the Giants acquired from Boston on July 26, holds himself to such a lofty standard.
Peavy, who absorbed the first nine defeats of his losing streak with the Red Sox, entered the game with the Major Leagues' lowest run support (2.84 per game). Yet he held himself responsible for his fate.
"I have to make better pitches," Peavy said, wearing a pained expression. "I know I could have done more."
That's quite a statement from a man who sustained the longest no-hit bid of his 327-start career. Peavy acknowledged the encouraging aspects of his performance, but concluded, "It's hard to dwell on that right now when your team loses."
The defeat developed after Curtis Granderson ominously led off New York's seventh by crushing a Peavy pitch high and deep to right field for the first out. Daniel Murphy then ended Peavy's perfection by doubling over Morse's head. Delivering his view of the play, Morse said, "I was playing shallow in, and he hit it pretty good. It kept going toward the line."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy declined to speculate whether Morse could have played the ball more adroitly. However, Bochy did address why Morse was in the game instead of Gregor Blanco, a superior defender. Blanco typically replaces Morse in the late innings, but that's when the Giants are ahead.
"We didn't have our best defender out there, but it's a tie game and [we're] on the road," said Bochy, envisioning another at-bat for Morse.
David Wright blooped a single to left field and Lucas Duda was hit by a pitch to fill the bases. Travis d'Arnaud's sacrifice fly shattered the shutout before Juan Lagares singled home the next run. Wilmer Flores then ripped a two-run double.
Peavy lamented Wright's hit.
"To win a game like that, you need a break to go your way, and that was probably the one I'd love to have back," Peavy said. "You make a pitch like that on a good player, that's what good players do -- they get enough of it just to float it over the infield."
The Giants halved the difference in the eighth. Fresh off the disabled list, Brandon Belt singled for the first of his two hits and moved to third on Juan Perez's double. Both scored on Travis Ishikawa's pinch-hit single, finishing deGrom.
Despite the late offensive flurry, pitching dominated the evening as Peavy, the 13-year veteran, and deGrom, a promising rookie right-hander, piled up zeros.
deGrom (6-5), who's 6-1 with a 1.52 ERA in his last eight starts, duly impressed the Giants in his first appearance against them. A fifth-inning walk to Belt was his only blemish before Pablo Sandoval's clean double to left-center field ended his no-hitter.
"He's really good at hitting that outside corner, really good at hitting you at the knees and really good at hitting you on the outside corner at the knees," Belt said of deGrom.
Peavy spoke warmly of deGrom and harshly of himself.
"Their guy did an outstanding job," he said, "and I didn't do enough."