Jacob deGrom wanted to represent the New York Mets as the NL’s All-Star Game starting pitcher, but he had to settle for pitching second.
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom had a legitimate case for starting the 2018 MLB All-Star Game at Nationals Park on Tuesday. After all, his 4.4 fWAR is third in baseball (first in the NL), while his 1.68 ERA is the lowest of all.
But he had to settle for pitching second after Max Scherzer, who is having yet another season worthy of Cy Young consideration while also getting the benefit of pitching in his home park. DeGrom entered the 89th midsummer classic with some pressure to relive what he did in 2015, when he needed just 10 pitches to set the side down in order.
The Mets’ ace didn’t have as easy of an outing this time around, though. Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch had the pleasure of putting together a video-game lineup with his American League All-Stars, and deGrom had to face the teeth of it.
The order turned over for the top of the third inning, starting with Mookie Betts, which resulted in a fly out to Bryce Harper. Jose Altuve followed and popped out to Nolan Arenado, but then it was Mike Trout‘s turn at the plate.
He already has two All-Star Game MVPs under his belt, and began to make his case for a third early on with a home run because, well, what else would he do?
— MLB (@MLB) July 18, 2018
That pitch wasn’t even in that bad of a spot.
It didn’t get any easier for deGrom with J.D. Martinez coming up right after Trout, but he managed to strike him out, limiting the damage to just that solo homer.
While no pitcher wants to give up a dinger in the All-Star Game, can deGrom do anything other than shrug his shoulders since it was Trout who got the best of him? That’s all I’d do. Overall, the right-hander needed just 15 pitches (10 of which were strikes) against some of the game’s most feared hitters to complete the third inning.
Not too shabby, guys.