One day after Max Scherzer made his New York Mets debut in Spring Training, Jacob deGrom followed it up with his spring debut. To nobody's surprise, both pitchers were on top of their game making opposing hitters look foolish.
While the Mets will need both deGrom and Scherzer, as well as the rest of the rotation, to stay healthy, seeing their two aces pitch well early in the spring is a good sign. Their strong starts early in spring emphasize the dominance atop the Mets rotation, and deGrom will be looking to prove he is still the league's top dog.
Mets ace Jacob deGrom dominated the Astros' lineup
Jacob deGrom ended last season on the Injured List, so there have been some discussions about his health this offseason. While it wouldn't be a bad thing if his velocity wasn't at its normal levels yet, him consistently hitting 98 on the radar gun should put any questions of how the injury will effect him to rest.
Not only was deGrom's velocity on point in his opening start, but so was his command and dominant stuff. deGrom struck out the side in the opening frame, picking up exactly where he left off when he got hurt last year, making hitters look foolish. In his two innings of work, deGrom struck out five of the seven batters he faced and surrendered only a single hit. The Astros were no match for deGrom as he set them down in short order, throwing only 30 pitches, despite registering 5 strikeouts.
deGrom's dominant spring debut is only the beginning
Jacob deGrom's spring debut proved he was ready to pick up right where he left off. Where deGrom left off was one of the most dominant starting position seasons in MLB history prior to his injury. The two-time Cy Young award winner was well on his way to winning the award for the third consecutive season prior to getting hurt. He ended last season with 15 starts, going 7-2, with 146 strikeouts and a 1.08 ERA in 92 innings, according to Baseball Reference.
If deGrom can stay healthy this season there is no reason to believe that he can't return to being the top pitcher in baseball. And the addition of another top level pitcher in Max Scherzer could elevate the level of play from both of them, as the competitive juices will be flowing, not only for each to prove he is the league's top arm, but for each to prove he is the team's ace.
If deGrom and Scherzer can stay healthy, the Mets one-two punch in the rotation can be historically great and finish on the short list of the best duos atop a rotation all-time. Look for each of the two to finish in the thick of the Cy Young race, and don't be surprised if the winner is pitching in Flushing. The two already have a combined five Cy Young awards, and could add another to the ledger this year.