Even though the New York Mets lost 4-3 to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night, it’s fair to say that Jacob deGrom, their ace, had another dominant start. The bulk of the damage against him came in a three-run first inning.
After that, he settled in, to put it lightly: he finished with the three runs allowed and five hits in seven strong innings, with no walks and 14 strikeouts. He even fanned eight consecutive batters at one point.
“When he got his poise back, he was who we know he is,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said of deGrom, per MLB.com. “Fourteen strikeouts in seven innings. This guy is the best pitcher in the game, no doubt.”
DeGrom had retired 37 straight hitters in the first inning, which is mind-blowing. But the Braves somehow managed to hit a triple, an RBI single, and a two-run homer, courtesy of Austin Riley.
“How did he hit that?!” deGrom asked his catcher James McCann, before slamming his glove into the dugout bench. The Mets’ ace had thrown Riley a fastball off the plate, and he went the other way and knocked it out of the park in impressive fashion.
The Mets’ star warned that first inning would be ‘all they’ll get’, and delivered
But the words deGrom said to his pitching coach Jeremy Hefner would mark the rest of his night: “That’s all they get.” And that’s all they got.
The Mets’ pitcher noticed that the Braves were hunting for his fastball, so he adjusted his strategy and used his secondaries more. It paid off.
Even when he ‘struggles’, he can adjust back and dominate. That’s deGrom.
“You guys know how he is,” Rojas said. “He gets upset when he gives up a run. And it’s not because of this year, because of the numbers that he’s had for the season that are historic. It’s just the way he is. He’s always been like that.”
In total, deGrom earned 27 whiffs, his top output since he had 29 back on April 23.