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NY Mets: Handle with care, caution with Jacob deGrom is good

Jun 5, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Jacob deGrom has made nine starts for the New York Mets this season and has only one outing of 100+ pitches. This came in his two-hit shutout versus the Washington Nationals where deGrom was possibly the best he has ever been.

Prior to this excellent outing and each start since, deGrom has not reached the 100 pitch mark. A total he has reached plenty of times before, the Mets appear to have a plan of caution for their ace.

Do I want to whine and complain about it? Not in the least. The Mets are 6-3 in his starts and with the bullpen pitching well and at full strength with Seth Lugo back, the team can really benefit from having a healthy and strong deGrom for when they need him most.

Why run Jacob deGrom into the ground now when the Mets may need more innings from him later this year?

All bets are off in late September and even more so in October. Boys become men. Men become legends.

deGrom has all of the tools to go down as one of baseball’s great pitchers. This year, in particular, is tracking to be one of those seasons everyone remembers many years from now. deGrom is doing ungodly things on the mound despite not tossing a whole lot of innings.

Since returning from the IL, the Mets have slowly added to deGrom’s innings total. He returned with five against the Colorado Rockies, six versus the Arizona Diamondbacks, and another seven against the San Diego Padres.

The next time out, deGrom may be ready for eight innings if needed. After going just 85 pitches against the Padres in his latest victory, if he feels well enough, it might be time to take him off the leash and let the ace go further.

Even if Jacob deGrom is allowed to go further, maybe it’s best he doesn’t

A win is a win no matter how it happens. As much as everyone wants to see every pitch possible from deGrom, a seven-inning performance is nothing to whine about as long as the team comes away victorious.

More than they have in past years, the Mets offense has supported deGrom. He’s not getting an abundance of run support but he’s getting enough where we aren’t seeing them drop game after game they should have won.

deGrom’s two losses on the year did come in games where the Mets were shut out. The curse isn’t over yet, but at least it seems to have lost some strength.

This year, with a new attitude in the front office and on the field, things feel less about the individual and more about the team. I know deGrom isn’t a “me first” type of player by any stretch. However, in recent years with the team falling out of contention earlier than we’d like, individual performances have been more entertaining than where the team falls in the standings.

Getting way too ahead of myself, this year’s priority is giving this club the best chance possible to win in the postseason. Knowing they still need to get there, ensuring deGrom is available for an October run is priority number one.

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In his case, I wouldn’t consider it handling deGrom with kid’s gloves. These gloves are better suited for a dangerous HAZMAT material. Watch enough deGrom pitches and you’ll know what I mean.

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