New York — Jacob Degrom not argue. Not trying to negotiate. When show coach Jeremy Hefner delivers the news of how many pitches the Mets Degroom will be allowed to launch at the start, DeGrum simply accepts it. He understands what it would look like if he managed to push for more and then cut himself again. So for now, DeGrom is staying quiet.
On Saturday, that meant placing only six innings in 1-0 . win over the Phillies at Citi Field, despite displaying near-unmanageable things for the third time in three rounds since returning from the injured list. That meant just throwing 76 shots – the same amount he did six days earlier against the Braves – and then watching from afar as loyal Seth Lugo, Trevor May and (uncharacteristically shaky version) Edwin Diaz did the rest.
Mets officials insist that it will come a day after this season when the restrictions on DeGrom will be gone. DeGrom himself believes that could happen over the next two starts.
For now, he’s following the plan aimed at keeping him healthy until November.
“You want to be there, but at the same time, it took a long time to get back,” Degrom said. “You don’t want to do anything to jeopardize your presence here hoping that we can keep pushing, and hopefully get into the world championships.”
On Saturday, that meant caution for DeGrom although the Cy Young winner’s effective run continued. After allowing a Rhys Hoskins single in the first half, Degrom retired from 16 consecutive Phillies to Bryson Stott’s sixth single inning, relying almost exclusively on Fast Bowl and gliding. Early on in this stretch, Degrum hit five straight hits, showing his usual grit with a fastball that hit 102 mph and a passer averaging 93 mph.
Since returning from IL, DeGrom has had 28 strikes and one walk in 16 2/3 rounds. His age is 1.62. Its whip is 0.42. He has allowed two runs or fewer gained in 22 consecutive home games, a major league record. it’s a The only archer in the modern era (since 1901) to produce a three-start stretch that has seen him hit at least 50 percent of hitters while having four times as many hits as the base players.
“It’s a degrum,” Stott said, as if that explains it all.
“He’s on another planet,” Diaz explained. “It’s the goat.”
Preventing runners from hitting the base is an easy recipe for efficiency, so it came as no surprise that DeGrom could complete six runs in just 76 throws. Nor was it a complete shock to see Lugo warming up almost immediately after Degroom left the field.
This has been Degrom’s deal since his long-awaited comeback on August 2, when he threw 59 throws in his first major league game in over a year. The Mets are rapidly extending DeGrom out into the major leagues. More than that, they do it slowly. Typically in these situations, teams add one turn and about 15 pitches to the starter’s workload per rotation. Progress with DeGrom has been significantly more conservative:
Start #1: 5 IP, 59 pitches
Start #2: 5 2/3 IP, 76 pitch
Start #3: 6 IP, 76 pitch
Degrom said the minimum allowed for a Saturday start was 80, while for a typical starter it would have been around 90. A reaction in his right shoulder this spring, but also to the fact that MLB innings are stressful. Since the Mets are stretching DeGrom at the highest level, they wouldn’t benefit from giving him extra days of rest between each start.
“Shall I tie him up?” Consider manager Buck Showalter after the game. “I have a wallet on it, how is that? We will see. We will take every beginning as it comes.”
He helps Showalter’s cause in the Mets’ victory, providing him with the luxury of caution. Although Phillies rookie Aaron Nola was as sharp as Degrom on Saturday, Pete Alonso continued his success throughout his run against Nola with an RBI song in the first half. At the time, Alonso said he wasn’t expecting to hold a single race. But Degrom remained undecided, Lugo continued his strong mid-season and May appeared dynamic in his most influential appearance since returning from injury.
The only pressure in the late game was on the Mets when Diaz walked a two-stroke in ninth en route to his 200th career, cutting 50 consecutive hitters he faced without a free pass. It’s the kind of statistic usually associated with deGrom – and it could be again if the Mets plan to keep it healthy.
“I think he’s looking at the long-term goal here,” Degrom said. “You have to take a step back and try to be smart about it.”
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