Even when the Mets had a healthy Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey on staff, Jacob deGrom was still the best they had to offer. Nothing seemed to rattle him; he had no prima donna instincts; he had the best combination of velocity and command.
DeGrom said he’s healthy which is what makes his sluggish start so puzzling.
The 4-3 record isn’t such a big deal because it can be written off as a lack of run support or a leaky bullpen. However, the 15 runs he’s allowed in his last two starts and 4.75 ERA are particularly head scratching.
We’re used to seeing deGrom give up 15 runs in a month – maybe five starts – not eight innings in his last two. That’s not deGrom.
“It’s frustrating, but I’ve been able to go out and pitch that way, and you have to make an adjustment,” deGrom said after his last start against the Rangers. “You have what you have that day and I’ve done a poor job of that my last two starts, not being able to get outs without having my best stuff, which in the past I was able to do.”
DeGrom said he’s been able to pinpoint the problem but can’t get a handle on the solution. It’s akin to having an itch in the middle of your back and not being able to scratch.
In detailing his problems against the Rangers in his last start, deGrom said: “If you look at my misses, they were either to a righty down and away or up-and-in,” deGrom told reporters last week in Texas. “I’m either yanking the ball or it’s sailing on me, so that tells me it’s rotational.
“This game is not easy. These are big league hitters and when you make mistakes over the middle of the plate, that kind of thing happens, which obviously I have done over my last two starts.”
DeGrom said he’s flying open too soon with his front shoulder while striding to the plate. This is about timing, about muscle memory, and about the placement of his lead arm and shoulder as he begins his stride toward the plate.
Is this related to his elbow surgery? DeGrom says no; he says he’s not ailing.
DeGrom has always been honest and not condescending, unlike Harvey and Syndergaard have been in the past.