Jacob deGrom did what Jacob deGrom does, and dominated when the Mets needed it most.
It was the type of performance one would expect from the ace of a staff. Amid absurd clickbaity think pieces and more awful injury news for the team, deGrom played his part in righting the ship on Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and now the Mets need to take just one of the next two games this weekend to win their first series since April 29th.
In seven innings of work, deGrom allowed only one run, struck out a career-high 13, and walked none. It was a reassuring performance for Mets fans after his 45-pitch, one-inning performance last time out, which came on the heels of a brief DL stint for a hyperextended elbow. There was a period of a few days when fans expected deGrom to be gone for several weeks (as always, we expect the worst), but here he was on Friday, appearing no worse for wear while dragging the team by the nape of the neck past their rough first half of May.
Devin Mesoraco seemed to call a great game for deGrom, as well. The Mets’ new catcher stayed aggressive against the Diamondbacks, and has semmed to relish the upgrade in arms he gets to work with. Cincinnati’s staff, which possesses the fifth-worst team-ERA in baseball (4.88), doesn’t have anyone who stacks up anywhere close to deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, so this is somewhat new and exciting territory for Mesoraco, but he has handled it swimmingly. A perfect example was in the 6th inning, when David Peralta awkwardly waved at a slider for strike two. Instead of switching it up, Mesoraco dared Peralta with the same pitch, which resulted in deGrom’s 11th K of the night.
There will always be something for Mets fans to worry about. Two of the team’s best hitters are currently on the DL, the back end of the rotation has struggled, and the Braves and Phillies are suddenly world-beaters. But deGrom stepping up when the team need it the most is one thing that Mets fans can almost always rely on.
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If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.