Mets’ title dreams are still real after dodging Jacob deGrom’s bullet – –

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Mets’ title dreams are still real after dodging Jacob deGrom’s bullet – –


Jacob deGrom is more than the best baseball pitcher, it’s time to recognize him as the best baseball player.

Which is why it was nearly impossible not to hear a relief Cy from Mets owner Steve Cohen all the way down to the fan base who revere deGrom when a precautionary MRI scan on Saturday morning confirmed the optimistic diagnosis of des tendinitis. right-handed flexors.

“It just came out clean,” manager Luis Rojas said.

So far so manyGreat.

Because for the Mets, 2021 is about deGrom’s wing and the prayers of a championship-hungry franchise and its fans.

There was a time, a more innocent time, a more united time in this country, when a newscast interrupted regular television programming if the president, whoever he was at the time, had a cold.

We were reminded on Friday night, when euphoric fans returned with joyous revenge and filled Citi Field with electricity, that deGrom is the incumbent president of any Mets championship campaign.

Jacob de Grom
Jacob de Grom
Robert Sabo

We were also reminded that while it doesn’t appear that way, deGrom’s Inhuman 0.56 ERA arm is human, just like everyone else.

So it was big news when deGrom started smoothly on Saturday – before Marcus Stroman, victim only of a Fernando Tatis Jr. home run, deGromed the Padres 4-1 – and stayed on track to take his next departure.

“It’s something that we want to take day to day… we always want to pay special attention to it,” Rojas said.

It would be both neglect and folly not to do so, especially after deGrom was shut down twice earlier this season with a seal on the right side.

“Any elbow injury in a pitcher is of concern,” tweeted David J. Chao, known on Twitter as @ProFootballDoc on Saturday. “I hope the flexor tendonitis is benign without the involvement of UCL. “

The magnitude of deGrom’s star now shines in this constellation of Queens, which adjoins the constellation Brooklyn where Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden are based.

“We feed on the GOAT, man, for sure,” Stroman said. “He really is the best of our generation. I think he’ll be the best to do it once it’s all said and done.

We’ve seen that kind of adulation here every now and then… Tom Seaver, aka The Franchise and Tom Terrific… Dwight Golden, aka Dr. K (for a fleeting period)… Matt Harvey, aka The Dark Knight… and to a lesser extent degree measure, Noah Syndergaard, aka Thor.

When deGrom (five RBIs, four earned runs allowed) throws for them, Mets fans don’t worry about sticky foreign substances on sleeping baseball… they’re too busy being Metsmerized by the exhilarating sight of exasperated and restless hitters. appearing more helpless against that out machine than against anyone else in the game. DeGrom the batter probably couldn’t hit him.

When deGrom pitches for them, it’s an event.

A “MVP, MVP, MVP” revival.

Through my mask on the pitch on Saturday, I asked a masked Rojas what he remembered about his father, Felipe Alou, telling him to face young Seaver.

“He told me a story that he got a single from him the first time he faced him,” Rojas said, “and he was in the beginning, and he was like watching in the field. outside, looking around, and all of a sudden he caught Seaver’s gaze watching him from the mound. And my father said to me: “Luis, he looked at me like:” You are lucky to have this one. As a young person. He thought a kid with that confidence and stuff like that, he was just meant to be special.

What Reggie Jackson once said about Seaver would certainly apply to deGrom: “The blind come to the park just to listen to him pitch.

Rojas’ father, who has enjoyed success against Sandy Koufax, has also spoken to him about facing Bob Gibson.

“Bullying,” Rojas said. “About how it got into your head.” And not only did he put in your head how intimidating he was, but how he fired you if someone took a single away from him, or even hit him a homer, of course.

Rojas was asked how intimidating deGrom is for hitters.

“You don’t know what he’s thinking, you don’t know what’s going on, he’s not emotional on the mound,” Rojas said. “And then he has all these specialties, doesn’t he, in the pitch menu. This guy throws triple-digit numbers throughout a game and then his side throws aren’t too shabby. You put it all in one package, and it seems pretty intimidating to me.

You can also add the killer instinct. Even in his two Cy Young seasons, deGrom never imposed his will on a game like he does now.

“I think he has mastered body control of the pitch, as well as his perfect anatomy for throwing, probably he has the long ends, he creates easy torque with his delivery. … His arm action is probably the cleanest in baseball, ”Rojas said.

The connection between deGrom and Mets fans is something to see.

“He enjoys the roar,” Rojas said, adding with a chuckle, “as much as he probably doesn’t share it. … I think he feeds on it, he missed it last year like everyone else, including me. You won’t get an emotional response from him. You’re not going to receive a wave or anything like that, but inside he’s responding to them and their support.

The stress that deGrom puts on his arm is being watched closely by the Mets. That’s part of the reason he didn’t throw more than the 85 shots he threw in his six innings against the Padres on Friday night.

“We want to have Jake all season, don’t we? Said Rojas. Right.

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