Jacob deGrom (Part Three) The 2021 & 2022 Seasons

Jacob deGrom got the 2021 Opening Day start at Philadelphia. In 6.3 innings of work, he struck out seven & gave up three hits. He earned no decision in the 5-3 Mets loss.

14 Strike Out Game: On Saturday April 10th, deGrom matched his career high with another 14 strike outs. He allowed just one run over eight innings of work but took a loss, as the Mets were shut out by the Marlins Trevor Rogers (six innings) & Dylan Floro, Richard Bleier & Yimi Garcia.


Another 14 K Game with Nine Consecutive Ks:  deGrom started this game in Colorado, with a 0.64 ERA, still looking for his first win. In the 2nd inning, after a leadoff double & a walk, deGrom struck out the next three batters. Over the next two innings he struck out the side each time for a career best nine straight strike outs, one short of the all-time record.

deGrom struck out 14 batters for the second straight game, pitching six innings while earning the 4-3 win, his first of the season. Although the Rockies did get three runs, none of them were earned, as a 5th inning Francisco Lindor error led to the scoring. 

Two Hit Shut Out & Career High 15 K Game: On Friday April 23rd, at Citi Field deGrom tossed a complete game two hit shutout over the Nationals. He also set a new career high with 15 strike outs. He also had struck out 14 or more batters in three consecutive games.

At the plate he collected two hits, including an RBI double to help his own cause. deGrom hit safely in his first four games of the season, with six hits & was now batting .545. The win put the Mets in sole possession of first place, ahead of the Phillies. 



On April 28th, in a 6:40 PM start at Citi Field, deGrom took a heart breaking 1-0 loss to Nick Pivetta & the Boston Red Sox. Doubles by Xander Bogaerts & Christian Vazquez brought in the only run. Pivetta (5 innings) Garrett Whitlock (2 innings) Adam Ottavino & Matt Barnes (1 inning each) combined to shut out the Mets. 

Pitcher of the Month Award: deGrom ended the month of April with a league leading 0.51 ERA. He was 2-2 with 59 strike outs & two walks in 35 innings pitched. He won the April Pitcher of the Month Award.


On Sunday May 9th, deGrom beat the D-backs at Cit Field, allowing just one run, striking out six & earning his third victory. He exited the game in the 5th inning, after feeling tightness in his right side. As the Mets & their fans held their breathe, he was sent for an MRI the next day. Thankfully, it showed nothing. 

Quotes- Jacob deGrom: "I want to be out there every fifth day. That helped make the decision easier because I didn't want it to result into turning into something more serious. Talking with trainers & Dr. Altchek this was the right call, because if you continue to go out there & that's aggravated & you do change your mechanics, then you could be looking at some serious time, not being able to repeat your delivery & being off".

DL & Rehab Start: The Mets shut him down for a bit, ten days later he made a rehab appearance at West Palm Beach, in an A-ball game for the St. Lucie Mets. In that game he dominated his opponents, striking out eight in three innings pitched, not allowing a ball to leave the infield. Afterwards he treated his entire team to a Chic- Filet dinner.

After two weeks, he returned to the much-needed Mets rotation. The Mets were now clinging to a 1.5 games lead in first place.


On Tuesday May 25th, he made his first start in over two weeks as the Mets hosted the Rockies at Citi Field. deGrom pitched five innings, allowing just one run on three hits while fanning nine Rockies in a 3-1 Mets win. His personal catcher, Tomas Nido's two run HR led the offense.

On May 31st, deGrom took the hill in Arizona & went into the 5th inning with a no hitter. With one out Carson Kelly then singled centerfield ending the no hit bid. deGrom was masterful, as he pitched six innings of shutout ball, striking out eight while walking no one & giving up just two hits. 







Hitting Star: In the 4th inning, Arizona chose to walk Mason Williams intentionally to load the bases & get to deGrom. But Jacob singled to right field, giving himself a 3-0 lead while driving in his third run of the year.  Entering June, deGrom was batting .450, while opponents were hitting just .129 off him.

 


That night Pete Alonso returned after two weeks on the IL & drove in four runs, including a 442-foot mammoth HR. 

The Mets went on to the 6-2 win as deGrom went to 4-2 with 82 strike outs in 51 innings pitched. His world leading ERA was now a microscopic 0.71.

Trivia: deGrom's0.71 ERA was the lowest of any qualified starter since 1964, when the Phillies, Chris Short had a 0.64 ERA entering June.

At this point Jacob deGrom was being called the best pitcher in baseball by many sources.

50th Career Double Digit Strike Ot Game: On June 5th at Petco Park, deGrom continued his domination, stopping the first place Mets two game losing streak with a 4-0 win, to keep them 3.5 games in front.

deGrom struck out eleven Padres, marking the 50th time in his career he had struck out ten or more batters in a game. It was the fourth time he reached double digits in K's that season.

Overall, in seven innings, he allowed no runs on three hits, one walk & the 11 Ks. deGrom lowered his ERA to an MLB best 0.62, which was now the lowest ERA for a starter through nine starts since ERA became a stat in 1912.

Trivia: Jacob deGrom moved into fourth place on the Mets all time strike out list behind Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden & Jerry Koosman.














On June 11th, 2021: Citi Field expanded its seating, as a crowd of 26,637 came out to see the history making deGrom. The first place New York Mets (32-24) hosted the Padres with chants of "MVP, MVP" from the crowd. In another degrominating performance, he shut out the Padres on one hit, with ten Ks in six innings of work. He struck out Padre All-star, Fernando Tatis Jr. twice. 

He left the game with elbow discomfort, but an MRI showed no signs of injury & he played catch the next day without feeling any pain.

At the Plate: Also in this game, he added a two-run single, which led the Mets to the 3-2 win. deGrom was now batting .400 with 5 RBIs.

Trivia: He bested his record to 6-2, with an incredible 0.56 ERA, the best in ten starts by any pitcher since the statistic was first kept tracked of in 1913. His WHIP was also a historical best.

He had the league's best strike out per nine innings ratio, the lowest hits per nine innings rate & best walks per nine innings ratios in the league. 

His 103 Ks were third best in the NL. After this game he became the favorite to win the NL MVP Award.

On Tuesday June 16th, a crowd of 23,545 with centerfieldmaz & Don Joe Vella in attendance, came out to see deGrom & the first place Mets (36-25) eleven games over .500 host the NL Central leading Chicago Cubs. The Mets had taken the first two games of the series. 

deGrom started out in amazing fashion, once again. 

In the top of the 1st inning, he struck out the leadoff batter Joc Pederson. After a fly ball out to right field, he then struck out seven batters in a row, Javier Baez to end the first then struck out the side in each of the next two innings.

In the bottom of the 2nd inning, with two on & two outs, the Mets fans stood shouting MVP-MVP as Jacob deGrom came to the plate. Citi Field got what they wanted, as the amazing deGrom ripped a single to right field, scoring the Mets second run. The crowd went crazy, as they chanted louder: MVP-MVP-MVP. 

It was his eleventh hit in 26 at bats, good enough for an incredible .423 batting average. It was the sixth run he had driven in on the season. On the mound he only allowed four earned runs all year. Absolutely incredible.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning after striking out the side, I received a text from my brother reading "deGrom is coming out of the game". Sure enough as the 4th inning began, Sean Reid-Foley entered the game to pitch. 

The word was deGrom left the game with a sore right shoulder. The Mets went on to a 6-3 win, but the deGrom injury loomed over the win. deGrom had lowered his ERA to 0.54, was 7-2 & now had 111 strike outs on the year.

Quotes- Jacob deGrom: "I don't even know what to say, I'm pretty aggravated with it". 

The next day an MRI showed nothing concerning, in the words of Mets manager Luis Rojas: "a normal shoulder from a pitcher".

The Mets did not see a need to shut him down or put him on the IL. He even was able to play a light game of catch the next day.

On July 26th, in an afternoon game at Philadelphia, Jacob gave up two runs, on four hits in six innings of work, while striking out five.

On July 1st in Atlanta, the Mets still had a two-game lead in first place. In the 1st inning, deGrom gave up three hits including a two run HR to Austin Riley. 

deGrom would strike out 14 batters for the third time on the year, for his sixth double digit K game.

Dom Smith would hit two HRs in the game but Freddie Freeman collected the walk off RBI single off Seth Lugo for a Mets loss & deGrom getting no decision.

 On July 7th at Citi Field, he made what turned out to be his last start of 2021. He got no decision in a 4-3 win over the Brewers. 

1500th Career Strike Out: deGrom gave up two runs on four hits, striking out ten reaching double figures in strike outs for the second straight game. In that game he reached a career 1500 strike outs.

2021 All Star: deGrom was named to his fourth NL All-Star team but announced he would not participate.

Season Ending Injury: On July 18th in a bullpen session, he felt tightness in his forearm. He was placed on the ten-day IL. Later in the month he felt soreness in his elbow. An MRI revealed inflammation in the elbow with now structural damage. He was placed on the 60-day IL &did not pitch again the rest of the year.

Historic First Half of Season: He ended 2021 with one the best first half of the season performances in MLB history. His 1.08 ERA was the second best in a first half of a season only behind Bob Gibson's 1.06 (1968). 

deGrom was 7-2 with 146 strike outs & 11 walks in 92 innings of work in 15 starts. At the plate he batted .364 (13-65) with a double & career high six RBIs.





2022 Mets Wild Card Season: With the 2022 Mets in first place & a pitching staff now led by Max Scherzer, deGrom wasn't as missed as he would usually have been. All the off-season hype of deGrom & Scherzer in the same rotation would have to wait until August. deGrom did not make his first start of the season until August 2nd.

 In a highly anticipated season debut, he went five innings in Washington D.C. allowing a run on three hits, while striking out six & walking no one.

On August 7th, deGrom made his Citi Field debut for 2022 in a game against the rival Atlanta Braves. deGrom struck out 12 batters, earning the win pitching into the 6th inning, giving up two runs on just one a hit, a HR to Dansby Swanson.


On August 13th, he beat another NL East rival, shutting out the Phillies at Citi Field over six innings, striking out ten batters to reach double figures in two straight starts. deGrom was 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA.

On August 18th, he too his first loss coming to the Braves in Atlanta. On August 25th, he earned a win in Colorado beating Ryan Feltner 3-1. On August 31st, he & the Dodgers Tyler Anderson had a pitcher's duel for seven innings with deGrom coming out the winner in the 2-1 game. deGrom struck out nine 7 walked no one allowing just three hits.

In September he shut out the Pirates on three hits over seven innings in a 10-0 Mets win. deGrom didn't win another game the entire month, allowing three runs or more in each of his next four starts, seeing his ERA go from 1.66 to 3.08, his highest since 2017. 
The worst loss came in the opener of a huge series with the Braves in Atlanta where he gave up three HRs taking the loss that tied the Braves with the Mets in first place. The Mets dropped the next two games as well, ruining their season as they finished second after being in first place all season.

2022 Post Season: In Game #2 of the NL Wild Card series, deGrom was the winning pitcher, allowing two runs on five hits to the San Diego Padres while striking out eight & walking two in six innings of work. It was his final win as a New York Met.

In the off season he chose free agency & signed with the Texas Rangers.

Mets Career: In his Mets career deGrom was 82-57. His 82 wins are tied for seventh on the Mets all-time list with Jon Matlack. deGrom had 1607 strike outs (Fourth on Mets all-time list) with 303 walks in 1326 innings pitched (8th on Mets all-time list) in 209 games started (27th most n Mets history).

Family: Jacob married Stacey (Harris) in 2014, together they have two children, a son & daughter.

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