Jacob deGrom leaves the game after three perfect innings due to right shoulder soreness prior to the Mets’ victory over the Cubs.
Citi Field’s positive vibes morphed into dread.
The Mets announced that Jacob deGrom left his start with right shoulder soreness following three perfect innings in the Amazin’s 6-3 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday night. His early exit followed a troublesome outing last Friday against the Padres, when he left after six innings with right flexor tendinitis.
“This is becoming tiresome,” deGrom said following the game. “I want to compete.”
DeGrom struck out eight of the nine batters he faced Wednesday against Chicago. He peppered his brief outing with 100+ mph fastballs, but his start was laborious. DeGrom threw 51 pitches over the course of three frames. DeGrom stated that he felt normal and strong through the first two innings before experiencing shoulder discomfort in the third. He was well aware that he needed to come out if the pain did not subside by the end of the inning. And he struck out the side even then.
“Whenever I feel like everything is falling into place and the ball is actually coming out with less effort, which was the case for the first two innings tonight,” he explained. “That is why, as I sit here, I am extremely frustrated after going out in the third and experiencing that. It was as if I was asking, Where did this come from? I’m at a loss for where to place the blame.”
DeGrom walked into the dugout and disappeared straight into the Mets tunnel after striking out opposing pitcher Robert Stock to end the third. Brian Chicklo, the head trainer, followed him, and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner made the call to the bullpen minutes later.
DeGrom underwent “encouraging” strength tests, according to Luis Rojas. On Thursday, the right-hander will undergo an MRI, which will provide the Mets with additional information about the severity of his shoulder injury. The manager, who is renowned for his optimistic outlook, stated that he wants more clarity on deGrom’s soreness before commenting on the possibility of a trip to the injured list. Rojas stated that his level of concern is currently low.
“I hope so,” deGrom said when asked if his shoulder injury will be a minor setback. “We have to regain our intelligence. I keep saying it’s early, but coming out of games like that is so frustrating.”
In the fourth inning, Sean Reid-Foley relieved deGrom. He gave up a home run to Anthony Rizzo in the second inning, but nothing else. The Cubs managed just three hits against the Mets pitching staff, which featured a combination of six relievers who pitched the final 18 outs following deGrom’s departure.
The Mets (35-25) will attempt to shake off the disappointment of their ace’s injury and break out the broomsticks on Thursday, when Marcus Stroman takes the mound against the Cubs.
For the first time since Sept. 28, 2019, the club is ten games above.500.
DeGrom, who turns 33 on Saturday, received MVP chants on the mound and at the plate, with the loudest coming following his RBI single in the second inning. The Mets ace has scored more runs (6) than he has surrendered (4). The crowd at Citi Field, which was nearly 70% full, went from celebrating deGrom’s performance to lamenting his absence.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner finished his 11th start with an MLB-best 0.54 ERA. DeGrom’s soreness in his right shoulder is his fourth different injury this season.
“His belongings are not down,” Rojas stated. “We didn’t see a low 90-mph fastball or anything tonight, or any [indication] that his velocity has changed from his early-season performance. Nothing stands in the way of the unique items he constantly flashes out there.”
Prior to suffering right flexor tendinitis on Friday, an injury that appeared to be minor enough that deGrom did not miss time, deGrom spent a couple of weeks on the IL in May with tightness in his right lat (side) and lower back. DeGrom stated that he does not believe his injuries are related, and Rojas agreed. The skipper stated that if deGrom’s discomforts were connected, it would be simpler to terminate him.
“I believe it’s three distinct issues,” deGrom said of his recent injury saga. “I believe the lat was involved in the swing. I didn’t give much thought to the elbow. As I previously stated, I was fairly certain that was nothing. And I’m fairly certain this is nothing.”