Jacob deGrom has shortest career start

June, 17, 2014
ST. LOUIS -- New York Mets manager Terry Collins said rookie Jacob deGrom is not losing his rotation spot anytime soon. He just needs to get sharper.

"You've got to make pitches against a team as good as they are," Collins said after deGrom allowed six straight baserunners to reach and was knocked out in the fifth inning of the Mets' eventual 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night at Busch Stadium. "It's one of those nights. I thought he was OK.

"He's got to learn when to be able to get them off the plate and when to not have to throw a strike. He's going to keep running out there, so he's going to get better and better."

DeGrom's line: 4.1 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.

"I just look at how many balls were really hit hard tonight," deGrom said. "I mean, three or four were hit hard. The rest just kind of found holes and went through. I didn't really make the pitches I needed to when I had situations with guys on."

Collins indicated the Mets staff had instructed deGrom to be more active using his changeup Monday.

"I agreed with that," deGrom said. "I spoke to [pitching coach] Dan [Warthen] last week about throwing it a little more. I threw it quite a bit tonight. I left a couple up that got hit. It was pretty decent tonight."

So what's the issue?

"I've just been struggling to get strike one," deGrom said. "I've been falling behind, which isn't helping. My first couple of starts I was pounding the zone a little more."
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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