The New York Mets, in their season opener last night, decided to pull Jacob deGrom, who was dealing on the mound, after throwing 77 pitches. That call has become controversial ever since Kevin Cash did something similar with Blake Snell in last yearâ€™s World Series, as it shows the marked division between two schools of thought: the analytical-driven people who say that having a pitcher face a lineup for a third time itâ€™s not worth the risk, and the old schoolers who live and die with their ace.
Metsâ€™ manager Luis Rojas called the bullpen in the seventh, bringing right-hander Miguel Castro even though the skipper had said prior to the game that deGromâ€™s pitch count for the contest would be near 100.
â€œGoing out for the six innings and you guys saw the activity on the bases. And he hasnâ€™t thrown in 10 days. So the conversations in between innings with him led us to make the decision of pulling him,â€ Rojas told reporters via Zoom following the Metsâ€™ 5-3 loss to the Phillies (link to the SNY article here). â€œâ€¦I know he was way under than what heâ€™s built up leaving camp. But maybe the 10 days without throwing led to the decision during the game.
The Mets had already discussed the idea
The Metsâ€™ manager said â€œit was an agreement between everyone after we got to that spot in the sixth.â€
He later added that despite the result (the bullpen and defense blowing the game), he was â€œsatisfiedâ€ with the decision to pull his ace.
The Metsâ€™ pitcher confirmed that it was discussed before the game that he wouldnâ€™t go as far as initially planned.
â€œThat was kind of discussed where weâ€™re going to be before,â€ deGrom said. â€œ10 days without facing hitters, kept trying to throw bullpens but didnâ€™t want to throw too many pitches with the hope of playing Saturday and then finding out that series is canceled so that was the last time I was able to throw. So it was kind of a how many ups thing, how many pitches not being in a game facing hitters for 10 days.â€