Today: 17.08.2018
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16.08.2018

Jacob deGrom stoically managing what would drive others crazy.

ATLANTA — You have to be watching carefully to notice those moments when things finally get to Jacob deGrom, because in addition to being one of the two or three best pitchers in baseball right now, he is also one of the game’s great teammates. So when Jay Bruce suffers a senior moment in right...
Time: 17:42     Date: 13.06.2018
Last US Sport News: Jacob deGrom stoically managing what would drive others crazy. NY Post 24 - US News

So when Jay Bruce suffers a senior moment in right field and allows Ender Inciarte to take an extra base on him — “Terrible play on my part,” Bruce said, “Just inexcusable” — deGrom not only doesn’t roll his eyes or let his shoulders sag, he promptly picks Inciarte off second to bail Bruce out.

When Michael Conforto overruns a ball and puts an inning in extra peril, deGrom doesn’t shake his head and leave a the-hell-with-it slider up on a tee; he strikes out Charlie Culbertson and ends the threat.

“Guy throws like that,” Todd Frazier said, “all you want to do is score runs for him.”

But there are hints of the fury that lurks beneath, because the Mets never seem to ever get around to scoring those runs for him, so how can there not be? The Mets lost 2-0 to the Braves on Wednesday, scratched out two hits and assembled one non-competitive at-bat after another, meaning that while deGrom added to an epic 10-game stretch in which he’s pitched to an 0.87 ERA, the Mets added to their even more astonishing ineptitude by losing for the eighth time in those starts.

Frazier, speaking for every Met who earns his living swinging a bat, went up to deGrom when this latest calamity was complete and said, “Dude, I’m sorry.”

He never says what you scream at the TV, though there isn’t a soul who would blame him if once, just once, he asked after watching a non-competitive 1-2-3 inning by his mates: What did I ever do to you guys? He never turns over the buffet table or smashes a water cooler.

But he does suffer out there. Again: you aren’t likely to see it in obvious places, so when the Braves touched him for the only run he allowed in seven innings of brilliant work thanks to a Dansby Swanson double and a Freddie Freeman (of course) single in the fourth, he barely changed expression.

No. It was an inning later. There was one out in the bottom of the fifth and deGrom left a pitch to Johan Camargo up, Camargo drilled it to right field, a harmless blemish that nevertheless caused deGrom to punch the air. He is a perfectionist by nature anyway, but pitching for this team demands perfection in the extreme.

He probably knew in his heart of hearts that the one run the Braves had already scored was going to be enough to doom him; a second run and someone might have suggested implementing a mercy rule. And so when he failed to make a perfect pitch he excoriated himself. Then got out of the inning.

“When I get someone on I do not want them to score,” deGrom said, “whether it’s 0-0 or we’re winning by 10.”

(And no, he didn’t crack a smile at that last bit of unintentional irony; maybe he wasn’t aware that the Mets have now scored eight runs while he’s been on the mound in his last eight starts.)

“It’s evident in the dugout when it’s tough to score for Jacob right now,” said Mets manager Mickey Callaway, who removed deGrom after seven innings and 86 pitches because of all the added stress the context of these games adds to his arm. Predictably, the Braves doubled the lead when Freeman homered off Jerry Blevins, the lefty specialist who hasn’t retired a lefty since Port St. Lucie.

“It stings that we can’t do anything when he’s pitching,” Frazier said of deGrom.

“I know that he doesn’t care about the wins and losses by his name,” Bruce said. “But he’s essentially been perfect and we’ve wasted them. He literally gives you the best opportunity to win every game he pitches and he’s the kind of guy who feels like he could do more.”

Well, as it happens, he could do more. Next time out he could hit a couple of three-run homers. Maybe that would help.

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