The New York Mets will be without their ace Friday night against the Philadelphia Phillies. Jacob deGrom has been stretched from his start.
Source: Jacob deGrom was scratched from his start tonight #Mets
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) August 14, 2020
Jon Heyman of MLB Network is reporting that a stiff neck has caused deGrom’s scratch.
DeGrom scratched with stiff neck
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 14, 2020
With deGrom going down the Mets will likely turn this over to Walker Lockett. Mike Puma of the New York Post is reporting the team told Lockett Thursday night he may get the start.
Walker Lockett was told after yesterday's game to be prepared to go if deGrom can't pitch. As @Joelsherman1 reported deGrom has been scratched,
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) August 14, 2020
With deGrom out, the Mets are down to just two pitchers who were part of their original Opening Day rotation. Neither Steven Matz nor Rick Porcello has excelled to start the season, though Porcello has been better in his last two starts.
Walker Lockett is set to take deGrom’s spot in the rotation, at least for one night. Lockett struggled mightily in four starts for the Mets in 2019. He pitched to a 7.76 ERA, 5.00 FIP, 6.8 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, and 1.6 HR/9.
To say the dropoff is huge would be an understatement. The Mets go from arguably the best pitcher in MLB to their third replacement starter.
Lockett has one career start against the Phillies. It’s the longest start of his career, he went 5.1 innings, allowed four runs, struck out four and walked two. The Mets lost the game 7-5 when Wilmer Font allowed three runs coming out of the bullpen.
Every start matters that much more in a 60-game season. If the Mets can’t get the job done with Lockett on the mound Friday night, it could come back to haunt them down the line.