PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Curtis Granderson and David Wright consecutively homered against Stephen Strasburg, and Jacob deGrom had the longest outing by a New York Mets starter during spring training in a 10-2 win against the Washington Nationals on Saturday at Tradition Field.
Granderson’s three-run shot in the third inning opened the scoring.
Wright, who followed with an opposite-field blast, has four spring training homers. He finished last season with a career-high 189 at-bat homerless drought.
The Mets (15-11) have produced a Grapefruit League-best 35 homers.
Manager Terry Collins said he likes the team’s offensive approach, but he cautioned to make too much out of the long ball total.
“We can’t get too caught up down here,” Collins said. “The winds are blowing, the weather has been warm, and the ball carries. We’ve got some power. I’m not saying we don’t have any power. But you’ve got to be careful, because we aren’t playing at Citi Field -- especially in April, when the wind is blowing in and it’s cold [in Queens].”
DeGrom allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out four in seven innings. He required only 81 pitches.
“That’s the most stretched out I’ve been all spring, and I felt really good out there today,” deGrom said.
DeGrom took a scoreless effort into the sixth inning, when Bryce Harper delivered a solo homer that sliced Washington’s deficit to 4-1.
“I struggled today a little bit,” said deGrom, who sliced his Grapefruit League ERA to 2.45. “I don’t know if I lost concentration or something with those two four-pitch walks. That’s the main thing today, but the spring has been going pretty smooth. I’m still trying to work on things. I was getting under my changeup today. And that’s what I fell behind Bryce with before he hit the home run.”
DeGrom said he did not mind facing Washington so close to the regular season. The Mets had avoided pitching Opening Day starter Bartolo Colon against the Nats and instead used him in a minor league game this week. Collins said it is more beneficial to have Colon dodge the Nats, since the 41-year-old right-hander is not a power pitcher, and familiarity with him is more likely to help Washington batters than with seeing deGrom.
Pen trouble: Collins summoned Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin to face Harper in the eighth. Gilmartin, who had a string of solid performances recently to seemingly become the internal favorite for a lefty relief role, walked Harper on five pitches.
Sinking feeling: Jeurys Familia’s struggles continued. He allowed a ninth-inning run as his Grapefruit League ERA rose to 6.75.
Collins said the issue relates to a loss of sink on Familia’s two-seam fastball, and not anything regarding velocity. The Mets have now abandoned trying to get Familia to throw four-seam fastballs up in the zone to allow the reliever to concentrate on his signature sinker.
“The only concern we have is the sinker is not there right now,” Collins said. “… I think it’s a mechanical thing more than anything.”