Even though the New York Mets lost 4-3 to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night, itâ€™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.
â€œWhen he got his poise back, he was who we know he is,â€ Mets manager Luis Rojas said of deGrom, per MLB.com. â€œFourteen strikeouts in seven innings. This guy is the best pitcher in the game, no doubt.â€
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.
â€œHow did he hit that?!â€ deGrom asked his catcher James McCann, before slamming his glove into the dugout bench. The Metsâ€™ 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 Metsâ€™ star warned that first inning would be â€˜all theyâ€™ll getâ€™, and delivered
But the words deGrom said to his pitching coach Jeremy Hefner would mark the rest of his night: â€œThatâ€™s all they get.â€ And thatâ€™s all they got.
The Metsâ€™ 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 â€˜strugglesâ€™, he can adjust back and dominate. Thatâ€™s deGrom.
â€œYou guys know how he is,â€ Rojas said. â€œHe gets upset when he gives up a run. And itâ€™s not because of this year, because of the numbers that heâ€™s had for the season that are historic. Itâ€™s just the way he is. Heâ€™s always been like that.â€
In total, deGrom earned 27 whiffs, his top output since he had 29 back on April 23.