Looking back at deGrom's All-Star outings

July 12th, 2021

NEW YORK -- Just because won’t be participating in this year’s All-Star Game doesn’t mean he’s lost his label as one of the game’s absolute best. No one can take the title of “four-time All-Star” away from deGrom -- and it’s an impressive one, considering he’s only been in the league for eight years.

deGrom won’t be adding to his Midsummer Classic highlight reel in Denver, in large part because he wants to keep his body as strong as possible for a second-half playoff run (not to mention a bid for a third National League Cy Young Award). But he has already provided plenty of memorable moments in All-Star Games past.

Here’s a look at deGrom’s three previous experiences:

Cincinnati, 2015
No deGrom All-Star performance was as memorable as the 2015 event, which became something of a coming-out party for the right-hander. Although deGrom was the reigning National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, he was not yet the household name that he is today.

That began to change on a midsummer night in Cincinnati, where deGrom exploded into the consciousness of a national audience. He struck out the side on 10 pitches, bedeviling Stephen Vogt, Jason Kipnis and José Iglesias on a series of upper-90s fastballs and low-80s sliders.

FOX’s play-by-play announcer, Joe Buck, punctuated deGrom’s outing with a prescient look into the future.

“Hi, I’m Jacob deGrom,” Buck said, as the Mets’ ace walked off the mound, “and I have the chance, with my stuff, to just dominate baseball for years to come.”

Washington, D.C., 2018
The most memorable portions of deGrom’s 2018 All-Star experience came before the game itself. First, deGrom’s then-agent Brodie Van Wagenen shook up media day by releasing a statement that the Mets should either sign their ace to a long-term deal or trade him. At that point, deGrom was still under team control for a year and a half, giving the Mets little incentive to cave to Van Wagenen’s demands. (In a twist of fate, Van Wagenen later became the GM who signed his former client to a long-term deal worth $137.5 million.)

Then there was the matter of the All-Star starting lineup. Although deGrom’s first-half ERA was nearly a run lower than that of Max Scherzer, NL manager Dave Roberts opted to give Scherzer the start in front of his home fans. Neither pitcher had the outing he wanted; Scherzer allowed a run in two innings, while deGrom gave up a run of his own on a Mike Trout homer (no shame there). He also retired Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve, before punctuating his outing with a strikeout of J.D. Martinez.

Cleveland, 2019
It may not have been quite as spectacular as his first All-Star outing in Cincinnati, but deGrom’s 2019 appearance was even more efficient. He needed just seven pitches to dispatch of George Springer, DJ LeMahieu and Trout, getting his revenge on the latter with a popup to first base.

“Any time you get to go face the best, that’s what you’re here for,” deGrom said after that outing. “That’s what you want to do. I saw it was going to be those three guys, and I was looking forward to it. I knew it was going to be those three, and I was looking forward to the challenge.”