On May 15, 2014, future New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom took on the New York Yankees in his Major League Baseball debut. Let’s relive the start of Big Jake.
Baseball is one of the most unique sports. You truly never know what you will see on the diamond from game to game. You may see a veteran add to his future Hall of Fame legacy or you may see a rookie collect his first hit. There are also those days when a New York Mets pitcher steps on a big league mound for the first time a few years before winning a Cy Young.
In 2014, the Mets were set to face off in their annual matchup with the crosstown rival New York Yankees. All eyes were on the highly anticipated debut of starting pitcher Rafael Montero. But what fans did not know was that the next night would be the beginning of arguably one of baseball’s top pitchers’ career.
It is safe to say that Jacob deGrom has built himself quite a legacy over his 5 years in the MLB. But it is crazy to think what would have happened if deGrom did not make his debut on May 15th, 2014 against the Yankees. Would deGrom have ever gotten a chance at all? After all, he was drafted by the Mets in the 9th round of the 2010 draft. The only reason deGrom started that final game of the Subway Series was because Mets pitcher Dillon Gee was injured.
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deGrom would face off against Chase Whitley, who was also making his MLB debut. A rare case of two rookies debuting on the same night added extra excitement around New York. deGrom would go on to toss 7 innings on that day and only allow 1 run. deGrom would toss a total of 91 pitches and strikeout 6 batters. deGrom would add some impressive names to his strikeout list that night getting Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, and Alfonso Soriano (twice) out on K’s.
Somethings have not changed 5 years later after deGrom’s’ debut. In his debut, he also was able to get his first major league hit. It was only 1 of the Mets 3 hits on that night. The Mets would lose that game by a final score of 1-0. No run support at all for deGrom.
Although the game’s result was not what fans wanted, they have to be pretty happy with what deGrom ended up becoming. His Mets career has outlasted Montero, who was receiving all the hype that week and has become the Mets best, pitcher. With a rotation that was providing top prospects like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and eventually Noah Syndergaard, not many people had deGrom high on their list.
Well here we are in 2019 and deGrom is not just the team’s best pitcher, but one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. From a rookie who got the nod to start the game due to an injury all the way to the 2018 Cy Young Award, not to mention one of the best statistical seasons ever, it’s been a crazy ride.
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