The Mets came out firing on all cylinders on Tuesday night at Citi Field, as they scored five runs in the first three innings to quickly go up on the Braves 5-0, behind a hitting attack lead by the surging Curtis Granderson, who launched his 14th dinger on the season in the first inning.
On a night that put them in the history books, the Mets defeated the Braves 8-3 and earned the franchise’s 4,000th victory.
It wasn’t only the offense that was clicking on Tuesday, because rookie pitcher, Jacob deGrom was throwing strikes and mowing down the opposition.
DeGrom, who hasn’t won a game since June 21st when he defeated the Miami Marlins to earn his first major league victory, has pitched well enough in his last two starts since to at least earn a win. On Tuesday night he took control early and was very impressive especially after the Mets finally gave him a lead to work with, and he did not let up. The tall lanky right-hander threw seven shut-out innings, allowing seven hits and tied his career high with 11 strikeouts.
It wasn’t just deGrom striking out the Braves, it was how he took control of the game and didn’t allow anything big to happen.
In the first inning, he allowed a lead off single to B.J. Upton, but quickly struck out the next two batters. With Upton on third after advancing on a stolen base and throwing error, deGrom was able to induce a fly ball to left off the bat of Justin Upton to end the inning.
In the second, after Jason Heyward singled and swiped second and third, deGrom calmly struck out the next three batters to end any threat the Braves may have thought they had.
In the fifth, the top pitching prospect struck out the side for the second time in the game. In his final inning of work, deGrom worked out of a minor jam by getting Christian Bethancourt to ground softly into a double play and then he put away the once mighty Dan Uggla looking with an 84 MPH Slider.
DeGrom (2-5, 3.38) threw 108 pitches, 73 for strikes and mixed up his pitches well enough to get outs and even hit the gun as high as 96 MPH more than once. A very dominating outing and confidence builder for the young right hander.
Thoughts from Joe D.
Jacob deGrom has logged just 11 starts since his major league debut, but he already feels like a keeper.
Before the season started, deGrom was looked upon as the least likely to succeed between Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. The righthander was the one most were willing to trade in a package to acquire a bat.
Now, aside from a scant few non-believers, deGrom’s name is prominently featured alongside Matt Harvey whenever I see fans discussing the 2015 rotation.
It goes to show you how far deGrom has come. It’s refreshing to see a a young Mets starter throw strikes and not issue any walks in a game.
The former 2010 ninth round pick doesn’t have the kind of stuff that will typically blow batters away. And yet with his two 11-strikeout performances through his first 11 games, he joins Nolan Ryan and Dwight Gooden as the only Mets to accomplish the feat. It goes to show you that a little command can go a long way.
DeGrom improved his ERA to 3.38 ERA for the season, and while he has walked more batters than any of us would prefer, last night was a significant step forward.
Owner of an impressive 2.3 walk rate in his minor league career, deGrom’s walk rate was at 3.5 this season as a major leaguer. However the majority of those walks came early in his debut season and he’s walked just five batters in his last three starts while striking out 22 in 18.2 innings. If he continues at this pace, the Mets will have something truly special here and the makings of a solid number three pitcher at the very least.