Skip to content
dailynews
June 20, 2019

Saving the best for first: Mets aces pitch in intrasquad spring game

March 19, 2019

PORT ST. LUCIE — The Mets strategically opted for Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard to pitch a minor-league intrasquad game on the back fields of the Mets’ facility Monday.

This was all done on purpose to avoid the Nationals from getting another look at the top-2 starters before the regular seasons kicks off. Washington beat the Mets 6-5 in their Grapefruit League game.

Advertisement

But pitching against the backdrop of a smaller, back-field crowd rather than a spring training stadium that seats 7,160 people favored another advantage for deGrom.

It allowed the reigning Cy Young award winner to focus on the process of his outing instead of the results.

“I threw one changeup that I really didn’t like and just like, right away went back to it,” deGrom said. “Or if I threw a slider I didn’t like, threw it right away again. I was able to get in more work, I think, than I even expected.

Jacob deGrom was able to think about his process. (Jeff Roberson / AP)

“You get in front of a crowd in a stadium, you kind of focus more on the result instead of the process. I think today I was really able to focus on where I wanted to throw those pitches and not really worry about the outcome, just make sure I was throwing quality off-speed today.”

By the end of the game, deGrom threw 96 pitches over 6.1 innings. He struck out 12 batters and allowed one run on seven hits with one walk. When pitching coach Dave Eiland told the right-hander he hurled 96 pitches, deGrom was surprised. He said he felt better later on than when he started the game.

And even though it’s spring training and deGrom was facing his own teammates, he still took that earned run seriously.

“Yeah, I don’t like giving up runs,” deGrom said. “I’ve said that before. Whether it’s a spring game, back there, anywhere. I don’t like giving up hits, runs, none of it. Today, it was a little easier to work on things than a normal game.”

Getting frustrated by poor results, even if it’s only spring training, is something Syndergaard can relate to. The right-hander threw his glove on the mound after giving up a walk to Wilson Ramos on Monday. The catcher also crushed a home run off him.

Syndergaard finished his day throwing 99 pitches over six innings. He struck out 12 and gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits (two homers) with two walks. Along with Ramos, 20-year-old infielder Andres Gimenez also knocked a long ball off Syndergaard.

The right-hander has looked sharp all spring and said he feels readier than ever for an exhilarating opening series against the Nationals in Washington, D.C.

“It’s pretty emotional,” Syndergaard said. “A lot of feelings involved with Opening Day and the matchup and divisional rivals. The three guys they got going for them are really good too. So it’s going to be a nice little duel between all of us.”

Noah Syndergaard.
Noah Syndergaard. (Jeff Roberson / AP)
HIDE-AND-SEEK

Reporters walked into the press conference room for the postgame interview with Syndergaard and he was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, he popped out from underneath the conference table. The pitcher decided to have a little fun with the media by hiding from reporters.

In the following interview, deGrom didn’t miss a beat. Reporters informed the ace that Syndergaard was hiding under the table just moments before.

“He’s still under there,” deGrom quipped with a smile.

Advertisement

FINAL PUSH

The destination of Kyle Dowdy’s regular-season clubhouse remains in a state of flux. The Mets Rule 5 Draft pick has pitched five erratic Grapefruit League games for the team this spring. On Monday, the 26-year-old gave up three walks and three hits and managed to escape without giving up a run.

Dowdy’s pitching line so far in spring features a 7.36 ERA across 7.1 innings with three strikeouts and six walks. If the Mets decide to forego his spot on the 25-man roster, they will be forced to hand him back over to the Indians.

“Anxious is probably the best term,” Dowdy said on he feels about his chances of making the roster. “Excited, obviously you want to be a part of this because you can feel the energy in here. But whatever happens, happens. It’s out of my control and just have to put my best foot forward.”

HOMER TRIFECTA

Michael Conforto demolished his third homer in an as many days on Monday against the Nationals. It was a two-run moonshot that seemed to take an eternity to land beyond the fence on the right-field lawn.

The long ball was Conforto’s fourth homer of spring, tying Pete Alonso for the team lead. The outfielder is slashing .265/.321/.531 with 10 RBI, a double and six runs scored over 16 games.

Facebook Comments
Premium WordPress Themes Download
Premium WordPress Themes Download
Download WordPress Themes Free
Download Nulled WordPress Themes
online free course