Jacob DeGrom displays brave effort in Game 2 win

The New York Mets turned to their nine-year-old ace on Saturday night in a do-or-die 2 game. Well, while he didn’t have his best at the time, the two-time Cy Young winner did. off to a good enough start for the Mets an opportunity to live another day. After six good innings, the Mets have accumulated some insurance runs and Jacob of Grom won a very important victory in the second game.

Before the start of Saturday night, deGrom didn’t look like the elite pitcher many knew he was. In his previous four outings, deGrom has conceded at least three runs apiece. One of the starts also featured a short four-inning appearance against a dismal athletic team that saw the right-handed ace give up five runs.

In 21 innings over those four starts, deGrom had a 6.00 ERA. His season ERA stood at an unusually high 3.08 at the end of the season. In a game-winning walk or go home Saturday, the Mets and deGrom couldn’t afford a start along the lines of what he posted.

Well, in the first two innings of the game on Saturday, those struggles seemed like history. DeGrom had two perfect sets. The first featured strikeouts of Juan Soto and Manny Machado back to back. Jake pumped easily at 102 MPH, which made Padres hitters look ridiculous.

However, in round three, thoughts of his previous starts began to return. He gave up a long ball to Trent Grisham. DeGrom, who has been repeatedly beaten by the home run ball in his recent lackluster outings, has once again fallen victim to it.

In the fourth inning, deGrom threw around a Josh Bell first single and even saw his team give him a second lead of the night at the end of the inning. However, once again the lead was quickly dropped. After an initial walk and subsequent sacrificial bunt, Jurickson Profara Met-killer this season, fielded a ball that just cut through the chalk on the left field line for a scoring single.

Fortunately, deGrom fought back and pulled out Machado and Bell, back-to-back, to block the runners at first and third base. It seemed to be the turning point of the ball game. Like after deGrom showed his classic ability to get huge outs when he needed them most, the Mets ran with the game and didn’t back down.

At 90 pitches, and after a brief discussion with the coaching staff, deGrom was fired for the sixth inning. This after he received his third lead of the contest. Boy, was this the right decision. Jake only needed nine pitches to hit arguably his most effective inning of the night. He knocked Jake Cronenworththen got a fly and a ground to end his night.

After the match, deGrom Explain that he felt he had his best trick up his sleeve. Interestingly enough, he also mentioned how he finally felt his fastball wasn’t a bit off and had the height he wanted. After Grisham’s home run earlier in the game, deGrom relied on his slider for the majority of the rest of his outing. Appears however, in the successful sixth inning, his fastball finally came back to him.

In all, deGrom threw 99 pitches over the six innings. He allowed five hits and walked two, while allowing only two runs. DeGrom struck out eight and recorded the much-needed win as New York extended the 3-2 lead the team had after their exit.

Coincidentally, that start looked a lot like deGrom’s start in a playoff game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. In that start, he also went six innings while allowing two earned runs. He allowed one more hit, walked one more, struck out one less, but also, like in Saturday’s start, didn’t have his best at times. However, he managed to resist and register victory. After the match, deGrom mentioned how much the two looked alike.

What may be most intriguing about the departure is that it could be deGrom’s last appearance in a Mets uniform. As has been well documented, deGrom has an opt-out in his contract at the end of the year and he has stated that he will exercise it. Of course, the Mets still have the option of re-signing him and bringing him back. However, deGrom did say himself, in his postgame press conference, that it occurred to him that Saturday might be his last start in a Mets uniform.

Either way, the two-time Cy Young winner pulled off a monumental start when his team needed it most. Despite an uncertain future, deGrom certainly didn’t disappoint as they gave their team of the past nine seasons the chance to qualify for the NLDS on Sunday night.

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