At the beginning of the season Collins said deGrom and Matt Harvey would be watched carefully in terms of pitch counts and monitoring, which fell into line his decision to not let him come out for the ninth.
In fact, even though deGrom’s pitch count was at 104 and he was cruising having retired his last 23 hitters.
Collins volunteered deGrom was dealing with soreness in his hip and shoulder recently, so it was actually a no-brainer. All Collins has to do is think about the 134 pitches Johan Santana threw in his no-hitter.
“I already lived through one of those harrowing experiences,’’ Collins told reporters. “At my age, you can’t live through too many more.’’
In that regard, it didn’t hurt the lone hit deGrom gave up came in the first inning.
Sure, deGrom wanted to stay in, but didn’t push matters with Collins.
“I haven’t thrown a complete game in the big leagues,’’ deGrom said. “That’s something I want to do. But I had a lot of pitches early on. My goal was to try to stay in there for at least seven. Then, whenever they let me go back out for the eighth, I was just happy to do that.”
The prevailing theory is deGrom altered his mechanics to compensate for hip stiffness, which consequently lead to shoulder soreness. Whether or not this was the result of mechanics remains in question, but what isn’t in doubt is Collins made the right call.