Jacob deGrom has made just six starts this season, but his outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night arguably was the best he’s been thus far in 2022 and it came at an opportune time for the New York Mets.
After the Dodgers rallied for a comeback win in the series opener at Citi Field, deGrom quieted their offense over seven dominant innings. He didn’t allow a hit until Justin Turner’s one-out single in the fifth inning, and finished the night with nine strikeouts.
Mookie Betts had the Dodgers’ lone run off deGrom — a solo homer that cut their deficit in half in the sixth inning. The home run was Betts’ fifth in as many games and tied a career high at 32 on the season.
While Betts has been on quite the tear, he was effusive of deGrom and referred to the Mets ace as arguably the best pitcher of all-time, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“He’s pretty much the best, maybe the best to ever pitch,” Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts said. “I don’t think anybody does (compare). I think the stats kind of say that as well.”
In further heaping praise on deGrom, Betts said his entire pitch mix makes for a difficult at-bat:
“All of it. I mean, all of it,” Betts said when asked what the most difficult thing to deal with is when facing deGrom. “He just kind of lives on the edge too. If he has 101 (mph), when he does leave it out over the plate, you swing and miss or foul it off. So, it’s very hard to hit off him.”
deGrom relied on a steady dose of four-seam fastballs and sliders, but also kept the Dodgers off balance by incorporating changeups and curveballs at a higher rate than normal usage.
Freddie Freeman was the only other member of the Dodgers lineup to collect a hit off the right-hander, with his two-out single in the sixth inning. Freeman then stole second base but was stranded by Will Smith.
deGrom gets first win against Dodgers
While the 34-year-old has long been regarded among baseball’s best pitchers, he took the mound Wednesday night a career 0-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 10 starts when facing L.A.
Thus, deGrom earned his first win against the Dodgers with the stellar performance in the Mets’ 2-1 victory.
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