It is safe to say Jacob deGrom passed the audition. How deGrom responded in his second start of the season and first since April 8 could turn out be one of the most pertinent issues of the year.
His 16-day absence was first caused because of a strained right lat muscle that turned into something far more serious following health complications of his newborn son.
That deGrom threw 82 pitches and said his lat felt fine gave the franchise a huge sigh of relief.
“He got after it,” manager Terry Collins told reporters about deGrom’s start. “After what he’s gone through he gave us plenty.”
In beating the Braves, 3-2, deGrom gave up one runs on eight hits with no walks and just three strikeouts. His ERA dropped to 1.54. His fastball velocity was clocked in the low 90s, not where he wants it to be. The eight hits were indicative of getting the ball up.
“It was nice to be back out there,’’ deGrom told reporters. “I was a little nervous, but excited to be out there. Everything feels fine.”
What deGrom didn’t like was his inability to put away hitters ahead in the count, but especially was pleased he didn’t walk any hitters.
“I had a lot of guys with two strikes I couldn’t put away,” deGrom said. “Other than that I was pretty happy with the outcome.”
We’ve seen deGrom be more dominant, but this was a great sign for him and the Mets. It was a huge sigh of relief.
Mets Game Wrap
Game: #17 Record: 10-7 Streak: W 3
SUMMARY: DeGrom worked into the sixth and the offense manufactured three runs, two coming of sacrifice flies. “It was great to see,” Collins said. “Personally, I’d like to get four homers every game.”
KEY MOMENT: Two stood out. … The Braves got two hits off deGrom in the first after the Mets gave him a 1-0 lead. A big inning is his first start was not something he needed. … When the Braves got to him for a run in the fifth deGrom minimized the damage.
THUMBS UP: Asdrubal Cabrera remains a bright spot with his timely hitting. … Michael Conforto drove in two runs. … A question entering the season and an issue early, the bullpen has pitched very well. Jim Henderson, Hansel Robles and Jerry Blevins were bright spots. … Wilmer Flores legged out his second hit of the season. … No walks issued from five pitchers.
THUMBS DOWN: Despite their power, the Mets struggle hitting with RISP, ranking last in the National League. … You don’t want to go to the bullpen four times, but considering the circumstances it was understandable. … Despite the save, Jeurys Familia is still not crisp. He gave up a run on three hits. … Cabrera failed to get the lead runner on a grounder in the ninth and it cost the Mets a run.
EXTRA INNINGS: Yoenis Cespedes didn’t play for the second straight game because of a bruise to his right upper leg. He will be examined Monday in New York. … David Wright had the day off, but was available to pinch-hit. … Kevin Plawecki started at catcher and Flores at third.
QUOTEBOOK: “You can’t hang sliders. The more he’s out there the better he’s going to feel.” – Collins on Familia’s problems.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7-5: Mets’ record vs. NL East. Braves (3-0), Phillies (3-3), Marlins (1-2). With the sweep of the Braves, the Mets have won seven straight games at Turner Field.