deGrom after 3rd straight loss: 'I stunk'

Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner allows 5 ER in 4 IP in return

April 27th, 2019

NEW YORK -- Standing in front of his locker after the Mets’ 10-2 loss to the Brewers went final early Saturday morning at Citi Field, looked and sounded stunned. It had been hours since deGrom, who lasted only four innings, threw his final pitch in the game. Hours since deGrom’s ERA had risen to 4.85, its highest point after any start in his career.

“To go out there and do that,” deGrom said, “it’s embarrassing.”

This was the type of outing deGrom did not deliver a single time last summer, when he fired 24 consecutive quality starts to end the season. But it has become the norm in 2019. Each of deGrom’s last three outings has fallen well short of quality standards. None of them have lasted more than five innings. Combined, deGrom is 0-3 with a 9.69 ERA over that stretch.

“I don’t know how surprising it is. It’s frustrating, though,” deGrom said. “I’ve got to figure it out. That’s all there is to it. I wasn’t very good tonight, and it showed.”

In his first start back from the injured list, deGrom felt no physical discomfort. Gone is the bout of strep throat that forced him off his throwing routine earlier this month. Gone also is the mild elbow soreness that prompted the Mets, in a show of caution, to place deGrom on the injured list. None of that bothered deGrom on Friday night.

Nor did a two-hour, 42-minute rain delay affect deGrom -- he made that clear after making his third consecutive start following a delay.

“It’s not that bad, other than having to sit around for a couple hours,” manager Mickey Callaway said.

Instead, a mechanical issue -- deGrom said he was “drifting on the mound” -- caused issues throughout his start against the Brewers. It did not affect him much in the first inning, when he worked around a one-out walk without much issue. But it did in the second, when he walked a second batter, hit another and narrowly escaped a bases-loaded jam.

deGrom was not so fortunate in the third, when  and  registered consecutive two-RBI hits. By the end of that inning, deGrom had faced 19 batters, walked three of them, plunked two others, and allowed five hits and five runs. He looked, in short, nothing like the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner that he is, and a Mets offense that plated merely two runs -- a  RBI single and a  run-scoring hit, both off  -- did little to ease the sting. By the fifth, when Corey Oswalt allowed four more runs in relief, the game was out of hand.

“There’s no excuses by any of us,” Callaway said. “We’ve just got to be better.”

Not since 2017 has deGrom struggled in this way, when he allowed 15 combined runs in consecutive outings and changed his between-starts routine because of it. Since that time, he has consistently been one of baseball’s best pitchers, with the trophies to prove it. He has demonstrated an ability to diagnose and correct issues that, this month, have uncharacteristically bedeviled him.

“I just think I wasn’t good,” deGrom said of Friday’s outing. “There have been games that I’ve pitched with bad mechanics and been all right. I just didn’t make the pitches when I needed to. I stunk.”

The Mets are at least confident that deGrom’s physical issues are behind him, offering optimism that sunnier days -- both figuratively and literally -- are ahead.

“I think I’ll figure it out,” deGrom said. “I’ve had stretches in my career before where they haven’t been that good, and then everything gets back in line. I think it’s just getting the reps in, and taking it from the bullpen sessions and actually doing it in the game, instead of what I did tonight.”