Before the game to no one’s surprise Met manager Luis Rojas named Jacob deGrom the Opening Day starting pitcher and after two scoreless innings in which he struck out 2 in his spring training debut that brought a smile to the Met manager’s face as we hear here:
Jacob deGrom will join the names of Tom Seaver, Doc Gooden and Johan Santana as the only Met hurlers to start at least 3 Opening days in a row and he feels honored to be in that class with a Met team behind him that is so talented
For deGrom watching him evolve over the past few years I was always very impressed with the simplicity he uses in crafting each game plan making execution of a great game seem seamless. Here he chats about that approach:
Offensively it was also a good day for the Mets which deGrom could certainly get used to and Michael Conforto thinks the sky is the limit for this offense:
Spring training is a time players work on things and everyday game analysis must always be taken with heavy subtext. But on this day I firmly believe that Luis Rojas loved the equation he saw, A great start by deGrom plenty of offense supporting him and a solid inning from Edwin Diaz. If I were drawing up a game based on this roster, that would be my ideal description.
I had a chance to grow up watching Tom Seaver, saw Doc Gooden in my early reporting days, and witnessed Santana’s no-no. Jacob deGrom fits so neatly with that trio in that he is super talented but also possesses the same will to win those 3 possessed,
And it seemed fitting to think about that on a day Luis Rojas named deGrom the Opening Day starter in DC on the night of April 1. Jacob connects that 2015 team to these present day Mets in so many positive ways . And I will never forget in that 2015 playoff how he beat the Dodgers twice on the road in a 5 game series not really having his best stuff in that deciding game but willed the Mets to a series win with sheer desire and guts.
And those are the same qualities the best pitcher in baseball brings to the mound every single start no mater what the situation and no matter what the odds. That is why pitchers like Gerrit Cole and Clayton Kershaw are a step below deGrom. Yes only a step but in my opinion a mighty big step.
So when I hear these so called experts say this pitcher or that pitcher is better than deGrom my first reaction is to give them the business card of my eye doctor because they need to correct their blurry vision. And when they get those corrective lenses, they will see what we all see. The best pitcher in baseball resides in CitiField and wears the Met orange and blue.