Thursday, May 15, 2014
DeGrom has 'spectacular' debut despite 'L'
By Adam Rubin
William Perlman/USA TODAY SportsNEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom claimed a pair of mementoes from his first big-league start. He had the baseball from his first strikeout, of Mark Teixeira in the first inning. And he had the baseball from his first-big-league hit, a third-inning single against Chase Whitley.
Jacob deGrom limited the Yankees to one run in seven innings in his big-league debut.
DeGrom, though, suffered a hard-luck loss. He limited the Yankees to one run on four hits and two walks while striking out six in seven innings, but the Mets were shut out, 1-0, at Citi Field. The lone damage came on a two-out RBI double by Alfonso Soriano in the seventh.
DeGrom had been promoted for bullpen work but stepped into the rotation, his minor-league role, for his debut with Dillon Gee landing on the disabled list with a right lat strain.
“That was awesome facing those guys,” deGrom said. “I watched [Derek] Jeter growing up. I couldn’t ask for a better team to make my debut against.”
Jimmy Haynes for the Baltimore Orioles in 1995 had been the last starting pitcher to lose his major-league debut while allowing one run and logging at least seven innings.
Despite getting shut out in consecutive games by the Yankees, the Mets could take consolation in the fact that their pitching future was on display. Rafael Montero and deGrom had positive showings in their their big-league debuts on back-to-back days. Montero allowed three runs in six innings Wednesday, in a 4-0 defeat.
“It’s amazing. You can’t say enough good things about those two guys,” David Wright said. “DeGrom’s performance tonight was spectacular. Some of the guys that got on third were very complimenting on both those guys. That’s good to hear from a good lineup. Both of those guys are going to be good ones.
"It just goes to show you the poise and composure with both those guys in their first big-league start, at home, in front of a big crowd, against the Yankees, and they stay that calm and end up giving you those types of performances. That’s solid.”
DeGrom, a former college shortstop, even snapped a big Mets drought. His line-drive single to center field in his first career plate appearance snapped the Mets pitchers' 0-for-64 drought. That was the longest drought to begin a season in major-league history and the second-longest drought ever regardless of point in the season, trailing only the 1914 Cleveland Indians (0-for-92).
DeGrom said he was aware of the hitless drought.
“He threw me a first-pitch changeup,” deGrom said. “The next one was a fastball. I happened to hit it the other way.”
As for his outing overall, deGrom said he felt nervous in the first inning, then settled down.
Despite the loss, he concluded: “It’s a feeling I’ll probably never have again. It was really cool.”