deGrom goes from under radar to ace

August, 2, 2014
Aug 2
10:55
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Seated next to Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey in the home dugout between dominant half-innings on the mound, rookie Jacob deGrom certainly had good company Saturday night at Citi Field.

The trio figures to form the core of a dominant Mets rotation for years to come, too.

DeGrom took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before surrendering a two-out double to Pablo Sandoval, and the Mets ultimately beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2.

"I think it's going to be unreal," deGrom said about the Mets' future rotation. "When Harvey comes back, I think we’re going to have a great staff. We want to make a run at this now with what we have. We look forward to next year, too."

DeGrom ultimately surrendered a two-run single to pinch hitter Travis Ishikawa with one out in the eighth and departed with his pitch count at 101.

DeGrom (6-5, 2.77 ERA) became the first Mets rookie since Dillon Gee in 2011 to win five straight starts.

He produced the third-longest no-hit bid by a rookie in franchise history. Randy Tate had 7⅓ hitless innings against the Montreal Expos on Aug. 4, 1975. Dwight Gooden tossed seven no-hit innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 6, 1984.

"Our kid’s really impressive," manager Terry Collins said. "For a guy that flew under the radar, he’s certainly being talked about now."

Said deGrom: "It’s been a lot of fun going out there and having control of pretty much all of my pitches, throwing them where I want. It's nice getting the wins."

Juan Lagares, who had raced into the left-center gap to run down Brandon Belt's shot in the second inning, made a futile, but spirited, diving attempt at Sandoval’s shot in the seventh.

"He gave me his best effort diving like that," deGrom noted, "That was awesome."

Did Lagares have any shot?

"Probably not, but I had to try because he had been doing a very good job," the center fielder said.

DeGrom is now 6-1 with a 1.52 ERA over his past eight starts. He should start generating serious NL rookie of the year buzz.

Although he never received the hype as Harvey, Wheeler and even Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero have, deGrom insisted he never felt slighted.

"I wouldn’t say I felt overlooked," deGrom said. "I got moved up along with Montero through all the levels. Me and him kind of moved together. And I wouldn’t say I was overlooked. I feel like they knew about me and they gave me an opportunity, and I’m thankful for that."

Said Collins: "I think we've all got to start to understand this kid has got a little something special, and poise is part of it. We've talked about his competitiveness. We've talked about the fact he's got a feel for the game. You combine those things and you have poise on the mound."

DeGrom said he was aware opposing pitcher Jake Peavy had a perfect-game bid into the seventh inning, leaving the rookie little margin for error until the Mets exploded for four runs.

"I knew we didn’t have a hit off him, either," deGrom said. "I was just trying to stick with the game plan we had and keep going after them."

Although he has no shortage of confidence, deGrom agreed he probably has exceeded what even he envisioned for himself as a rookie.

"I would say so. A little bit," deGrom said. "Yeah, I would say a little bit."
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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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187