deGrom shrugs off errors to notch strong start
NEW YORK -- In today's brand of baseball more than ever, pitches are a valuable commodity. Which is why manager Terry Collins said after the Mets' 5-3 loss to Atlanta on Saturday that errors, like the three committed by third baseman Danny Muno, can prove costly even if they don't directly result in runs.
Collins insinuated that the multiple defensive misplays aided into his decision to hit for Jacob deGrom in the seventh inning of a 1-0 game because of the way they extended innings and, in tandem, deGrom's pitch count.
But a closer look shows little correlation in this specific instance between Muno's three errors and deGrom's 102 pitches. Muno's first error came in the fourth and allowed leadoff hitter Nick Markakis to reach base. But two batters later, deGrom induced a double play to face the minimum that inning.
deGrom threw just three extra pitches after Muno's second error briefly extended the sixth inning.
And Muno's third error came in the eighth, after deGrom had already been pulled.
In between, pinch-hitter Juan Lagares singled and scored the tying run in deGrom's place. The Mets rallied to put deGrom in line for a win after the righty struck out nine over seven innings of one-run ball.
Collins said that the rally could have never happened if deGrom's pitch count was low enough to warrant another inning.
"If we were in a situation where we knew he had a number of pitches left, I probably would have let him hit," Collins said.
That would have in effect changed the dynamic in the ninth, when with closer Jeurys Familia unavailable, New York blew a save.
deGrom's season high in pitches is 109.
The outcome aside, deGrom and Atlanta starter Shelby Miller lived up to the billed pitching duel, as the two traded zeros for most of the afternoon. deGrom didn't allow a run after surrendering a solo homer to Freddie Freeman in the first. He walked just one and allowed five hits.
"That's the deGrom I'm used to," said catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
deGrom completed seven innings for the fifth consecutive start and lowered his season ERA to 2.33 with another impressive outing.