MIAMI -- Jacob deGrom did nothing to diminish his NL Rookie of the Year chances on Wednesday.
DeGrom limited the Marlins to one run on six hits and two walks in six innings and departed with a lead. He eventually received a no-decision and trimmed his ERA to 2.87 as the Mets beat the Miami Marlins 4-3.
Terry Collins said deGrom would have been pulled anyway had he not coaxed a groundout from Garrett Jones to end the sixth. DeGrom's cap was 110 pitches -- which is precisely where he was if you subtract the four offerings from an intentional walk.
New York Mets
"I had 73 pitches through three innings, so I definitely struggled with command," deGrom said. "I had a lot of 3-2 counts, but I managed to get out of a couple of situations where they could have had a big inning."
DeGrom now has logged a career-high 157 2/3 innings between the majors and minors this season. He should have four starts remaining, with about 28 innings with which to work.
"I feel good," deGrom said. "I had that little two-week thing on the DL, but these past three starts that I've had off of it I've felt really good."
DeGrom downplayed having anything to prove, but did suggest: "I want to prove I can pitch this late in a season. I've never done this many innings in my life."
He logged 147 2/3 innings last year in the minors.
DeGrom's primary NL Rookie of the Year competition could come from Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton (.267, 55 steals), although deGrom expressed no remorse at missing facing him this weekend when the Mets meet the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
"I didn't really look into it that much," he said.
As for the potential for winning the award, deGrom added: "Like I've said before, I try not to think about that stuff. That would be a great thing to win, but I just go out there every time and just try to put up zeroes. I feel like the rest will take care of itself."
Said Collins: "He really, really competes. He fell behind three guys 3-0 and came back and got two of the three of them. And he had the other guy hit three or four foul balls before he walked him. He's not afraid. He's not afraid to challenge somebody. ...
"When he got here, he was going to go to the bullpen. That's why we brought him up. It just so happened we had an injury and now we can't get him out of the rotation. It looks like he's going to be in it for a long time. Orel Hershiser can tell you, a very similar thing happened to him. He went to the big leagues as a reliever, got a chance to start and ended up being one of the best pitchers in baseball."