NEW YORK (AP)Jacob deGrom did it all Friday night, pitching and hitting the Mets to victory.
New York manager Luis Rojas even trusts him to diagnose his own elbow injury – and Dr. deGrom says not to fret.
”My level of concern is not too high,” deGrom said.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner faced the minimum over six innings and ripped a two-run single before leaving with right flexor tendinitis that clouded New York’s 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
DeGrom was pulled after 80 pitches and extending his scoreless streak to 22 innings.
The right-hander said he felt discomfort in his elbow this week but wasn’t worried by it. He tore the ligament in his pitching elbow as a minor leaguer and needed Tommy John surgery in 2010, and he said ”this didn’t feel anything like that.”
The elbow began to tighten up in the sixth inning, leading to the decision to pull deGrom. He underwent several tests to ensure the ligament was intact – something the 32-year-old does regularly – but those tests did not include any imaging.
”Whenever you say elbow anything for a pitcher, everyone gets nervous about that,” deGrom said. ”But like I said, I do a lot of ligament tests on my own, and doing those, knowing what those feel like, it’s a totally different spot.”
DeGrom doesn’t plan to seek an MRI or other imaging, and he expects to proceed with his normal between-start routine and pitch next time his rotation spot comes up.
Rojas is on board with that plan.
”I’m not concerned either, just because Jake is not,” Rojas said. ”This is a guy who knows his body really well, knows his arm really well.”
The injury spoiled a memorable two-way performance by deGrom, who has has five RBIs this season – compared to four earned runs allowed.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner’s 0.56 ERA is the lowest ever by a pitcher through 10 starts, just ahead of Juan Marichal’s 0.59 in 1966.
Facing San Diego and star slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. for the second time in six days, deGrom was perfect until Wil Myers beat the shift with a weak grounder in the fifth. Myers was caught stealing by catcher James McCann a few pitches later.
DeGrom thought he had a shot at a perfect game after four innings.
”Definitely the thought creeped into my mind,” he said. ”Throwing a no-hitter or a perfect game has definitely been a goal, just haven’t been able to do it.”
Myers was the only runner to reach against deGrom, who struck out 10 despite the abbreviated outing. New York has been limiting his workload since an injured list stint in May with right side tightness.
Billy McKinney drove in a run with the first of his two doubles in the fifth, and deGrom followed with his two-run hit.
DeGrom won a third straight start in the same season for the first time since August 2018.
”He’s plus stuff, plus command,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. ”He’s as tough as they come.”
San Diego dropped its third straight. Blake Snell (2-3) allowed three runs in four-plus innings, and the Padres couldn’t do enough damage against New York’s bullpen.
Right-hander Miguel Castro replaced deGrom for the seventh and allowed a double by Tatis and a two-run homer by Jake Cronenworth before exiting with neck stiffness.
Aaron Loup took the mound in the eighth but left with two outs after being hit in the arm by a comebacker.
Closer Edwin Diaz got the last out and three more in the ninth – including Tatis’ third strikeout of the game – for his 11th save. New York moved seven games over .500 for the first time tis season.
In the fifth, the left-hitting deGrom faked a bunt and nearly swung out of his shoes on Snell’s first offering with runners at first and second and no outs, but he missed. Snell balked before the next pitch, advancing McKinney and Jose Peraza. That allowed them to score easily when deGrom laced a single toward left-center field.
That was the final pitch for Snell, who said he lost command of his fastball in the fourth and fifth innings Friday.
”I feel really good,” he said. ”Just lost my fastball the last two innings, and yeah, if I don’t, it’s a completely different game.”
The Mets increased capacity with virus protocols easing, and roughly 26,637 came to Queens ready to cheer for their ace. They chanted ”MVP” throughout – loudest after his fifth-inning hit.
He got his 100th strikeout when Tatis went down swinging in the fourth, reaching the mark in 61 2/3 innings – the fewest innings to reach 100 punchouts in a season since the mound was moved to 60 feet, six inches in 1893, per ESPN.
Padres: CF Trent Grisham (left heel bruise) played his second rehab game with Triple-A El Paso. Manager Jayce Tingler said Grisham is likely to rejoin the club during a series early next weekin Colorado but could be back as soon as Sunday for the series finale against New York. … Left-hander Joe Beimel signed a minor league deal with San Diego. The 44-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015.
Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco had a PRP injection on his injured right hamstring after struggling to regain strength in the muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week, but acting general manager Zack Scott is still hopeful he can return some time in July. … 2B Jeff McNeil (hamstring) could begin a rehab assignment Sunday. … INF Luis Guillorme (oblique) was activated from the IL and INF Travis Blankenhorn was optioned to Triple-A. Guillorme grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
Padres RHP Joe Musgrove (4-5, 2.33) faces Mets RHP Marcus Stroman (5-4, 2.41) in a showdown of veteran pitchers who are currently with their hometown teams.
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