As always, it was great to see Jacob deGrom beat the Nationals today, 8-2, but let’s not get carried away, the Mets didn’t make any great statement other than to say they are off to a great start.
Nobody expected the Mets to get off to a 5-1 start, so let’s just enjoy it while we can. Let’s just see where the Mets are at the end of April or after 50 games before making any proclamations about making any statements or sending any messages.
There’s no reason not to be excited, but let’s keep things in perspective. After all, that’s what they are doing in that clubhouse.
DeGrom Defines Being an Ace: Despite hitting three homers, the game’s turning point came in the sixth after back-to-back walks loaded the bases for the Nationals with no outs.
The Mets were clinging to a 4-2 lead with the Nationals’ 4-5-6 hitters coming up. DeGrom got Ryan Zimmerman on a shallow pop to right, got Howie Kendrick on a liner to shortstop and struck out Trea Turner looking on three pitches.
Manager Mickey Callaway already knew deGrom was good, that inning showed he was special.
“Obviously his stuff is really good to bail him out when times start getting tough,’’ Callaway said. “But he never backs down.’’
DeGrom had trouble gripping the ball in the 40-degree temperatures, but composed himself to turn around the game.
“I slowed it down and was able to locate,’’ said deGrom, who now has seven straight quality starts at Nationals Park.
Outfield does damage: Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce all homered, with the latter’s a grand slam in the seventh.
After deGrom escaped the sixth, Brandon Nimmo pinch-hit for him and doubled. Conforto, who was activated from the DL before the game, and Cespedes walked to load the bases. Then Bruce unloaded for the slam.
If Nimmo continues to hit, Callaway has to find a spot for him in the lineup.