Jacob deGrom rangers
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Plenty of time has passed since Jacob deGrom officially decided his Mets tenure was complete. New York also did plenty to move on from the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner. But because of his (now) past connection to Queens, it’ll be impossible to just completely ignore what he does with the Texas Rangers.

At least, that’s the case for me. And while I’m happy with the Mets’ direction since deGrom signed elsewhere, there’s still a twinge of nostalgia every time I see him take the mound or see a compilation of highlights from Pitching Ninja on Twitter.

The right-hander faced a familiar foe on Opening Day in the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. Unlike many other appearances against that opponent, deGrom didn’t put together his usual dominant stat line:

When Jacob deGrom addressed the media for the first time as a Ranger this winter, he infamously talked about how he and Texas shared the same winning vision moving into the future. That’s probably true, but them handing him a bag full of money didn’t hurt either. Texas’ offense picked up the right-hander and the squad walked away with a win over Philly.

It happened without deGrom being a factor, though, which many wouldn’t have expected before the first pitch was thrown. Here’s what the former Mets ace had to say about his terrible debut:

I didn’t make some pitches when I needed to. Obviously, I’m not thrilled with how I threw the ball, but, you know, the guys did a good job there in the bottom of the fourth. My outing, I’m not thrilled with, didn’t make pitches when I needed to. But the most important thing is we got the win. I felt good. I honestly felt like I could have kept going.

He’ll have plenty of better days with the Rangers, and I hope he does. It was eye-opening to see him get shellacked as much as he did, though.

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You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.