DeGrom Can’t Be Unnerved Against The Nats

Jacob deGrom may not have been mowing down batters with strikeouts, but his start was more than enough to keep the New York Mets afloat while they battled back against the Washington Nationals.

The first inning didn’t start off great and it could have easily turned ugly after a leadoff double by Adam Eaton followed by Anthony Rendon’s first single against deGrom ever. A throwing error by Jay Bruce plated the Nats first run.

Again, I think it’s important to note the maturity of this still semi-young Mets pitching staff. A first inning like that can easily derail a young pitcher. We’ve seen it happen to Matt Harvey plenty of times over the past two years.

But instead of losing control, deGrom settles himself and strikes out Bryce Harper with ease. He gets himself out of any further trouble with an inning-ending double play.

The Mets would tie the game on a balk and deGrom would come back out for an easy 1-2-3 bottom of the second. Starting the inning off by striking out Trea Turner on three pitches.

We often rave about Noah Syndergaard‘s “razor blade” slider, but deGrom can throw one just as sweet. His slider clocking in today at  90 mph. But unlike Syndergaard, deGrom’s pitch count was beautiful this afternoon. Those groundball outs and fly balls are a godsend to the Mets bullpen.

DeGrom would struggle a bit in the third. But the Nats would take the lead on a play at home that could’ve been an out with a decent relay throw from Jose Reyes. A man who should probably not even be playing unless Amed Rosario has been shot into space. But once again, deGrom doesn’t let this unnerve him. He gets the final outs of the inning and limits the damage.

The Mets would take the lead again, but deGrom’s ultimate test would come in the bottom of the sixth. He loads the bases with no outs. Then manages to get a shallow fly ball out, followed by a line drive, and finally strikes out Trea Turner once again to end the inning. The groans of disgust that echo through the Nationals ballpark are music to the ears of Mets fans everywhere.

DeGrom finished allowing only one earned run (two runs) on four hits, three walks, five strikeouts, 86 pitches and captured the Mets first quality start of the season.

It’s the kind of inning that makes you think that maybe, just maybe, this is the year we might be untouchable.