With Mets facing elimination in Game 2 vs. Padres, Jacob deGrom hoping to ‘keep this going’

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Jacob deGrom Mets
Jacob deGrom. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Jacob deGrom, Citi Field’s prodigal son, has at least one more chance to keep his team’s season — and potentially his Mets career — alive for another game when he gets the ball in the elimination game that is Game 2 on Saturday night (7:37 p.m. ET, ESPN) in the National League Wild Card Series against the San Diego Padres. 

“Just go out there and leave it all out on the field,” deGrom said moments after he was officially named the starter. “You go out and compete, try to execute to the best of your ability, and try to keep your team in a position to win.”

Mets fans will be hoping that it’s the deGrom of old that appears on the hill Saturday night after he allowed three runs on three homers against the Atlanta Braves in a 5-2 loss on Sept. 30. A blister on his right-middle finger caused concern that led to his exit after six innings and just 86 pitches, but the 34-year-old right-hander implored that the issue has been resolved — even going as far as to say he feels “really good.”

He’ll have to be just that if he wants to keep the Mets’ season alive after they were smacked by the Padres 7-1 on Friday night in what was Max Scherzer’s worst-ever postseason start.

As the mantra went for Scherzer, it goes for deGrom: These are the types of games he’s here for. 

Despite winning two Cy Young Awards and posting a 1.94 ERA from 2018-2021, the star hurler has understandably faced questions about his viability as a dependable superstar in this league — especially considering he’s headed to free agency this winter to cast doubt upon his Mets future.

Injuries have derailed a Hall-of-Fame-worthy stretch, most recently missing the first four months of the season due to a stress reaction in his right scapula.  

“I missed half of the year and these guys did a great job,” deGrom said. “The other starters did a great job of holding it down when me and Max missed some time. I wanted to come in here and contribute as much as I could. It’s a huge goal of mine to keep this going and pass it to [Chris Bassitt for Game 3].” 

It’s been seven years since deGrom last appeared in a postseason or elimination game for the Mets; before he became Jacob deGrom the two-time Cy Young Award winner and arguably the best pitcher in baseball. A 3-1 2015 October featured a six-inning, two-run, seven-strikeout showing in the winner-take-all Game 5 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets would ultimately win the pennant before losing the World Series in five games to the Kansas City Royals.

Now he toes the rubber for his first-ever postseason start at Citi Field on Friday night with the Mets staring elimination in the face.

“I love pitching here,” he said. “This is a great atmosphere to play in, the fans have been great to me so I’m excited to go out there and see what I can do… That’s what we love doing — competing and going out there in big situations.

“You’re going out there and try to leave it all out on the field and you can look in the mirror at the end of the day and know that you gave 100%, that’s all you can do.”

For more on Jacob deGrom and the Mets, visit AMNY.com

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