Another day, another wasted Jacob deGrom masterpiece for the New York Mets. deGrom struck out a career-high-tying 14 batters in eight innings Saturday afternoon, but the offense gave him zero support, and he took the loss against the Miami Marlins (MIA 3, NYM 0). deGrom is winless despite a 0.64 ERA through two starts this year.
"An outing like that, you can call it a waste," Mets manager Luis Rojas told reporters, including MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, after Saturday's game, stating the obvious.
deGrom's only mistake Saturday was Jazz Chisholm's second inning solo home run, and it wasn't even a mistake. It was a 100.4 mph fastball up above the strike zone in an 0-2 count. Chisholm just went up and got it. Throw a triple-digit fastball above the strike zone in an 0-2 count and you're likely to get a swing and a miss. Instead, this happened:
Hard to blame deGrom for that, no? Gotta give Chisholm credit. Sometimes you make a good pitch and still get beat. Believe it or not, that is the first home run deGrom has allowed in an 0-2 count in his career. As good as he is -- and he's great -- you'd think a guy who has been in the league as long as deGrom would've made an 0-2 mistake at some point, but nope.
In parts of eight big league seasons, deGrom has held hitters to a .136 batting average with a 55.1 percent strikeout rate in 0-2 counts. MLB batters hit .149 with a 51.7 percent strikeout in 0-2 counts last year, for reference. Simply getting a hit against deGrom in an 0-2 count qualifies as a minor miracle. Chisholm was able to take him deep.
With Saturday's game, deGrom became only the 10th pitcher in history to take a loss despite allowing no more than one run in eight innings while striking out 14. The last to do it was James Shields in 2012, and the last before him was Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez in 2000. deGrom's 14 strikeouts tied a career high, which he's done three other times, including twice in 2020.
deGrom struck out seven in six scoreless innings in Opening Day, but the bullpen turned a 2-0 lead into a 5-3 loss. Rojas pulled deGrom at 77 pitches because they don't want to overwork him early in the season, and because his Opening Day start was delayed by the Washington Nationals' COVID-19 outbreak. The club was on an unusual schedule.
Following that Opening Day game, I alerted the masses to this ridiculous stat:
Jacob deGrom now has a 2.07 ERA since 2018 and the Mets are 36-41 in his starts.— Mike Axisa (@mikeaxisa) April 6, 2021
Following Saturday's loss, deGrom now has a 2.06 ERA in 503 innings since 2018, and the Mets are 36-42 in his 78 starts. It's hard to believe. It really is. Talk about wasted greatness.