The New York Mets (75-41) are having an outstanding season, and they’re looking especially dangerous for the postseason with a rotation led by Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. But on Monday night, their pitching really struggled, until a position player dominated on the mound.
Mets pitchers Carlos Carrasco (who left with side tightness), Joely Rodríguez, Adonis Medina, and Mychal Givens combined to allow 13 runs over six innings pitched in a 13-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Things really unraveled in the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Braves scored eight runs (Medina and Givens pitched that inning).
— MLB (@MLB) August 16, 2022
Down 12 runs and not wanting to waste any additional arms from the bullpen in a game that was well out of hand, the Mets turned to a position player in the seventh inning.
Veteran first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf — acquired by the Mets in a trade with the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 2 — came in to pitch, and he was great!
In fact, Ruf threw two scoreless innings (over just 14 pitches), after every other Mets pitcher in this game allowed at least one run. He only allowed one baserunner, which was via a single by Robbie Grossman. In the seventh inning, he went 1-2-3 on five pitches vs Atlanta stars Ronald Acuña Jr., Dansby Swanson, and Austin Riley.
Mets pitching got shelled all night then Darin Ruf tosses two shutty.
That's baseball pic.twitter.com/BNJiJIW51A
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 16, 2022
Ruf becomes the first position player in Mets history to throw two scoreless innings in a single game.
Darin Ruf just became the first Mets position player in history to throw multiple scoreless innings in a single game.
Ruf's line: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 14 pitches, 10 strikes.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 16, 2022
And Ruf is just the third position player in MLB since 1988 to pitch two scoreless innings on 15 pitches or fewer.
Historic stuff from Darin Ruf tonight (and much needed to save the bullpen).
Position players to pitch 2 scoreless innings on 15 pitches or less (since 1988):
Darin Ruf, tonight
Alex Avila, 2018
Doug Dascenzo, 1991
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 16, 2022
Ruf, 36, entered Monday night with just one inning pitched in his career. He allowed two earned runs over one inning pitched with the Giants in 2021.
[Photo Credit: SNY; box score via MLB]