Mets’ Jacob deGrom yields run, but continues strong spring

Jacob deGrom Mets
Mets ace Jacob deGrom will open the 2021 season against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night, April 5.
Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

It goes to show just how dominant and generational a pitcher is when allowing a single run during a start is news.

Yet here we are, relaying the reports from Port St. Lucie that New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom allowed a single run (gasp!) in his third spring-training start of this year’s exhibition slate — the lone blemish he’s had so far this year.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner went four innings, giving up a Jeremy Pena solo home run as one of two hits allowed while striking out six.

“[It’s probably about] feel and execution for me,” deGrom said. “It’s all good, toward the end started leaving the ball up a bit. Happy to go out there and get four innings.”

He went 50 pitches to improve his impressive spring-training stat line, which shows just three total hits given up in nine innings of work, allowing a single run with one walk and 16 strikeouts.

His stuff was blazing right out of the gate as six of his 13 first-inning pitches hit 100 mph or higher.

“My delivery feels really smooth,” deGrom said. “I feel like everything is on time and I feel like I’m staying within myself. Normally, that’s when it comes out better… When I try to throw hard, it comes out less.”

After a second-straight 1-2-3 inning, deGrom was touched up for that solo shot by Pena — a flyball which carried left fielder Dominic Smith back to the wall, but his leap just wasn’t quite enough to snag it, as the ball bounced off the very top of the fence and over.

Smith made up for his miss in the bottom half of the third when he socked a three-run home run to put the Mets up 3-1, his second of the spring.

DeGrom was nearly touched up for a two-run shot the following inning by Alex Bregman, but he was saved by center fielder Brandon Nimmo, who hopped above the wall to rob the Astros star.

“I was very excited because that would’ve tied the game,” deGrom said. “Even though it’s spring, I didn’t want to give up runs.”

After his outing, deGrom said that he went down to the bullpen and threw an additional 15 pitches just to get his count up in preparation for the regular season and to work on a few things.

“You have to get the pitch count up,” he said. “I felt that last inning, my front side was getting up, so after I went down to the bullpen and worked on that.

“It’s still a work in progress, nothing really clicked but I’ll keep working on it.”