Jacob deGrom had not appeared in a game since May 9th but it sure looked like business as usual for the sport’s best pitcher as he threw 5 innings of 3 hit ball in which he struck out 9 Rockies with the only blemish being a Ryan McMahon second inning home run.
In the past, deGrom had suffered losses in game like this but on this night he received a bunch of help from his friends. His battery mate Tomas Nido continued his torrid hitting crushing a 2 run homer to give the Mets the lead for good. And the Met bullpen threw 4 hitless innings striking out 7 batters. Miquel Castro went two innings and Trevor May and Edwin Diaz finished the job with Diaz earning the save.
And Diaz has been lights out this year not allowing a run in any of his save chances in 2021 and to my eyes the late movement on his fastball is the biggest reason why he appears unhittable when he takes the mound. After a disappointing 2019 season, he really found his game last year and has taken it to an even higher level in 2021. “Edwin has worked so hard and both Jeremy Hefner and Ricky Bones have been a huge help to him as well”, said Luis Rojas after the game.
Back to deGrom he became the first pitcher in Met history to begin the season with seven consecutive starts in which he has allowed one earned run or less. Even more important is the energy he put in this ballpark on this night which was obvious watching his teammates perform and at the same time watching the energy it put in the seats at CitiField.
Of course the day was not without injury news as during his rehab, Noah Syndergaard left his start after 1 inning with elbow soreness which at the very least will extend his rehab time before he rejoins the team. Tests will follow tomorrow and The Mets are keeping their fingers crossed it is no more than pure discomfort.
But on this night the Mets got back their ace and a win followed for this first place team that continued to sit in the top spot in the NL East despite a plethora of injuries. And injuries have hurt a bunch of teams in the NL East with players like JT Realmuto and Bryce Harper residing on the injured list .
And quite frankly the Mets have shown more depth than those teams not only in terms of personnel but how flexible players on this team are as illustrated by James McCann manning first base so the red hot Tomas Nido can stay in the lineup. As long as that trend continues, the Mets will stay in the penthouse and they will get a chance to show that when the Braves head to CitiField this weekend.
But first things first—2 more games with the Rockies as Marcus Stroman toes the rubber on Wednesday night with this team trying to hold down the fort even though bad injury news seems to be a daily occurrence. The presence of Jacob deGrom allowed MetsNation to put that to the side for 3 hours and that kept the Mets in that NL East top spot.