We’re not here to make sweeping generalizations about the 2021 Mets. It’s a new chapter in franchise history, with a new owner (Steve Cohen) and a new franchise icon signed as part of a long-term lucrative contract (Francisco Lindor).
These are not the same old Mets and we will not use terms like “Mets’ing” in this column. However, we’re going to be talking about an issue very familiar to the Queens squad, one that has plagued the King of the Mets rotation for far too long.
MORE: How Long Has Fernando Tatis Jr. Been Out?
Jacob deGrom was brilliant in the club’s delayed first game of the season; COVID issues with the Nationals meant the first series didn’t play out as planned. deGrom threw six dominant shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while knocking out seven Phillies. He threw 77 shots, 11 of which hit 100.0 mph or more. His fastest pitch of the night was a ridiculous 102.0, according to StatCast data.
The Mets were leading 2-0 when deGrom came out. They lost 5-3.
Jacob deGrom has now had a 2.07 ERA since 2018 and the Mets are 36-41 in his starts.
– Mike Axisa (@mikeaxisa) April 6, 2021
It really and truly is an incredible statistic.
Manager Luis Rojas, after the game, citing that deGrom had not pitched for 10 days, said he had withdrawn his ace after a conversation after his sixth inning of work.
“Long season,” deGrom told reporters after the game. “Talking to them was the right decision.”
Here is another set of truly mind-blowing numbers.
#Mets Jacob deGrom has made 77 starts in his last three seasons:
25 – 1.11 ERA
Games he did not win:
52 – 2.58 ERA (0-19)
– Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) April 6, 2021
Rojas brought in Miguel Rojas for the seventh, and he delivered a scoreless end. The eighth belonged to Trevor May, one of the essential additions to the club’s reliever box this offseason. The veteran right-hander signed a two-year, $ 15.5 million free agent contract after posting an average of 3.18 with 12.0 strikeouts per nine innings in 89 relief appearances spanning the 2019 seasons and 2020.
May called out the first batter he faced, but allowed two singles and a walk to charge the bases. Rojas visited Aaron Loup, a veteran southpaw who had a 2.52 ERA in 24 appearances for the Rays last season, before signing a one-year contract with the Mets this offseason.
Wolf was brought up to face southpaw Bryce Harper, and he quickly plundered Harper. One race, the bases always loaded. JT Realmuto followed with a single. Another run in, a draw, the bases still loaded. Just like that, the Mets two-point lead was completely gone. Another brilliant outing from Grom was wasted.
Oh, and it got worse. It always seems to get worse after deGrom’s release from a Gem. Alec Bohm hit a chopper at third baseman Luis Guillorme, who came home with the pitch in an attempt to take out a force. Guillorme’s throw was wild. Two more runs scored and the Phillies led 4-2
Here’s another statistic for Mets fans.
It’s painfully ironic, isn’t it, that the throw that cost the Mets the game was thrown in the same direction that deGrom was throwing strikes all night?
Oh, and then Didi Gregorius delivered a sacrifice fly that tackled another run and put the Mets ahead 5-2. The Mets scored once in the ninth but left two runners on base as the Phillies’ reading paddock – rebuilding this offseason after being historically poor in 2020 – only allowed one run in 5 2 / 3 rounds.
It’s just a game. It’s not an indictment on the future of a franchise.
But it was a frustrating and familiar feeling for fans of deGrom and Mets.