Dominant Jake: He’s Back To Normal

AP Photo/John Minchillo

From hitting a fastball to throwing one, that word of dominance in baseball can present itself in many forms. When discussing the dominant pitcher, all one had to do is again watch Jacob deGrom on the mound at Citi Field Saturday evening.

He was dominant and perhaps a bit better than Max Scherzer on the same mound Friday night, and if the Mets look to go deep in the postseason, it’s their two multi-Cy Young Award winners that will take them far.

But Saturday night it was deGrom in his third start. He was dominant and mowed down the Phillies lineup with a 100 -mile an hour fastball and slider. The only question that remains is manager Buck Showalter allowing deGrom to go deeper in his next start.

And go deeper in his further starts as the Mets prepare for postseason baseball in October, after six innings, two-hits, 76 pitches, and 10 strikeouts. It was the 55th time in his career hitting double digits.

Three starts and an ERA of 1.62 since his return. He’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in 22 straight starts at Citi Field, which accounts for a Major League record and that is dominance.

Yes, it was dominance. The one run was a Pete Alonso RBI single in the first inning that held up. The Mets 1-0 win was their Major League leading 15th shutout of the season, and a lot has to do with the dominant pitching of Jacob deGrom.

Any lingering questions of shoulder or elbow issues are in the past. The Mets have been cautious with deGrom and did this right, but three starts, allowing a walk, while striking out 28 is classified as dominance.

You want to be out there at the same time, it took that long to get back,” deGrom said. “You don’t want to do anything to jeopardize being here for hopefully the push we go on and hopefully into the World Series.”

And that is the game plan because a healthy and dominant deGrom could get the Mets to their first World Series since 2015. They also have a pitching rotation that has pitched to an ERA of 2.22 since Scherzer returned from the IL on July 5th,

But this is Jacob deGrom, a master at his craft and dominant. He allowed a one-out single to Rhys Hoskins in the first inning and 16 consecutive Phillies went down after that until another single in the sixth in his 20th career start against them.

As per the norm for a deGrom start, there was no run support from his offense, but this dominance is becoming a normal factor when he is on the mound. When you are this dominant, one run can be good enough.

The closer, Edwin Dia, who is also having a dominant season, closed the door for his 27th save. He said deGrom is “the goat on another planet.”

Right elbow inflammation and a stress reaction to his right scapula, put deGrom on the shelf for a year, but that is no longer a subject of conversation because of this dominance, though, there will still be caution.

Showalter said he is not “shackling him. I’ve got a governor on him, how’s that? We’ll take each start as it comes.” The truth is, deGrom is aware of his limits as he works back to full strength, but this third time he was still vintage Jake.

Nothing has changed, except that innings and pitch count limit. And that will certainly increase when he takes the mound on the road again next week with a projected start against the Braves or Phillies.

I think it’s looking at the long term goal here,” deGrom said with confidence. “You’ve got to take a step back and try to be smart about it.”

The Mets are playing this smart, and this is a positive as they move along and look to win their first NL division title since 2015. The question is how more dominance will come from Jacob deGrom?

The star of the show was our pitching staff,” Alonso said, referring to deGrom, with Seth Lugo, Trevor May, and Diaz coming out of the bullpen.

But the star continues to be Jacob deGrom and his dominance that was on display again Saturday night.

Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso. Watch “Sports With Rich” with Rich and Robert Rizzo Tuesday evening live 8pmET on the SLG Network and YouTube

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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