Sunday, June 25, 2017


Going into his start on May 31 versus the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets ace Jacob DeGrom was in the midst of a rocking ace-like fantasy baseball campaign.  Coming off elbow surgery the year prior, DeGrom roared back with an MLB leading K/9 rate and led baseball overall in strikeouts going into the start; to go along with a 3.23 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and .231 BAA.  Splendid numbers all the way around.  However as with anything that has gone on with the Mets' rough season, DeGrom hit the skids in a beyond horrid way beginning with that Milwaukee start.  In just four innings that day, DeGrom was hammered for 7 earned run to raise his ERA to 3.97.  A terrible start no doubt but it would be easy to see it was just a bad day at the office.  DeGrom then followed that up though with an even worse outing the next time out on June 6 when he gave up 8 earned runs versus the Texas Rangers in four more innings.  His ERA after that outing?  Try 4.75 and DeGrom's WHIP 1.44.  Alarm bells rightfully began to blare given the injury-marred history of DeGrom and the fact his control was horrendous to go with all the hits that suddenly began to pop up.  His fantasy baseball fate the rest of 2017 hung in the balance in terms of what DeGrom would do to adjust.

Well adjust DeGrom did and in a major way.  In terms of approach, DeGrom came up with a two-pron plan, with the first aspect being to pitch more down into the zone to generate more ground ball outs.  This would come at the expense of some strikeouts but DeGrom would not be giving up as many home runs as he was.  Secondly, DeGrom began to throw TWO bullpen sessions between starts but at a relaxed intensity.  The two BP sessions were to give DeGrom a better feel for his stuff and in turn to stop with the walks.  So did it work?  The evidence seems overwhelming.

Since the two-start debacle, DeGrom has made three starts since and needless to say, the dominance has returned.  Let's see how those starts broke down:

June 12 VS. Cubs:  9 IP 5 H 1 ER 4 BB 6 K
June 18 VS. Nats:  8 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K
June 24 VS. Giants: 8 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K

That's comes out to 25 IP with just 2 earned runs total and 12 hits allowed.  There has been a slight dip in strikeouts as expected but DeGrom is fully in control now as he lowered his ERA to 3.71 and WHIP to 1.27.  In other words, back to ace level.  So for those who own DeGrom, it is time to exhale here and fully embrace him again for every start.  While fatigue could be an issue in September, DeGrom seems very much back to his olf ace self.

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