There are the reindeer games of trying to determine whether a pitcher is crossing the sticky-stuff line, and then there’s the serious business of Major League Baseball keeping its biggest stars on the field. Unfortunately for the Mets, their biggest star, Jacob deGrom, quickly jumped levels Friday night at Citi Field.
The biggest crowd here since 2019 rocked along with the industry’s best pitcher for six dominant innings against the excellent Padres while the geeks in the press box (including me) checked whether deGrom’s spin rates were in line with his season averages (they were). Then, deGrom departed after only six innings and 80 pitches, and by the time Edwin Diaz had closed out the Mets’ 3-2 victory over the impressive Padres, team officials had announced that deGrom left because of right flexor tendinitis.
In a Mets-ian twist, deGrom declared after the game that he was “not too concerned about it” and planned to make his next start, and his manager Luis Rojas backed him, saying, “I’m trusting my pitcher” and added, “The expectation is he’ll make his next start.” The skipper wouldn’t even commit to subjecting deGrom’s pitching elbow to an MRI exam.
OK. If I were a Mets fan — or a Mets executive, more to the point — I wouldn’t put my feet up and set the panic meter at DEFCON 5 (that’s the least panic, if you haven’t seen “WarGames”) quite yet. As dominant as deGrom…