What would sports radio be like without Mike Francesa? Before the hot take artists took over ESPN, he was slinging his thoughts on New York radio for decades. His New York Mets takes are sometimes a little over-the-top but what he tweeted about Jacob deGrom is actually reasonable and level-headed. Retirement seems to have done him some good.
Right on, Mike! The one concern every Mets fan has is just how long deGrom can be brilliant. One masterful yet brief performance in a rehab outing is definitely promising. It hardly makes anyone feel confident in him moving forward.
Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom has something to prove for the first time in a long time
The deGrom we saw last year was different from previous seasons. He was throwing harder than ever. The result was a half season of dominance followed by a second half cooldown from the rest of the club.
Given the choice between deGrom making history but limited in how much he can do and him just being one of the best pitchers in baseball but not quite as brilliant, everyone would take the latter. The best ability is availability.
It may take a while for deGrom to meet Francesa’s standard of three straight 90-pitch performances. If we look at last season, it might not even happen at all.
deGrom went 90+ pitches in his four starts from April 10 through April 28. These were starts number 2-5. He only topped 90 pitches once more in the entire year when he did it on July 1—his second to last start of the year.
The Mets will be as cautious as they can with deGrom. It may take him three starts just to get near 90 pitches. As he progresses, three straight of going 90 or more might be a difficult achievement to make.
It’s still a reasonable expectation. deGrom has a larger-than-life reputation on the mound. If limited to less than 90 pitches on a regular basis by the time the season is wrapping up, the only way his return can be deemed a success is if the five or so innings he does give them consistently are masterful and result in wins.
Otherwise, expect a follow up tweet from Francesa dissing deGrom, the Mets, and the fans who bought in.