Winless deGrom continues to impress

May, 31, 2014
PHILADELPHIA -- Jacob deGrom has a 2.42 ERA through four major league starts. He still does not have a win to show for his efforts.

DeGrom departed with a one-run lead in the seventh inning Saturday at Citizens Bank Park, but suffered a no-decision when Jeurys Familia failed to close the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets ultimately won, 5-4, in 14 innings, with deGrom insisting afterward that he is not disappointed to remain winless in his career.

DeGrom and Ron Darling are the only players in franchise history to open a career with four quality starts and no wins to show for it.

Instead of being winless, deGrom lamented his seventh-inning meltdown. Leading 4-0, he allowed a leadoff single to Jimmy Rollins. DeGrom was really upset with the walk to Chase Utley that ensued. Ryan Howard followed with a three-run homer. deGrom departed later that inning with a one-run lead.

“A base-hit single, so what? I can’t walk him there,” deGrom said about Utley. “I’ve got to go right after him. And then I walked him and gave up the three-run home run.”

As for the homer to Howard, deGrom added: “I left a curveball up and he hit it. It was just a mistake.”

Reminded he was still leading 4-3 at that point, deGrom said: “Yeah, I know. But I want to put up a zero there in the seventh to give us a little bit better of a chance.”

Until that point, Mets manager Terry Collins figured he would have a dilemma. The staff had resolved to cap the rookie at 110 pitches after deGrom threw 122 in his previous start. Collins started wondering how long he could afford to let deGrom reasonably go, though, as he breezed through six innings.

“I was locating really well with the fastball, and my changeup was really good. And my curveball was pretty good today,” deGrom said.

DeGrom had received a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez in the fifth, but that proved to be nothing. DeGrom had slipped while delivering a pitch to Reid Brignac. Collins said initially, “It looked like he pulled a muscle or something.”

With Rafael Montero’s demotion, deGrom now appears to be in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Asked about his level of confidence, the rookie said: “It definitely helps each time to do well, to help prove that I can pitch here. That helps a lot to keep having quality ones.”
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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