Jacob deGrom had command of all of his pitches in second tune-up

M BaronIn Thursday’s 11-9 win over the Nationals, Jacob deGrom allowed two runs and three hits with five strikeouts in three innings.

“I had command of all of my pitches and felt really good,” deGrom said after his outing. “I gave up [Taylor’s double] that was hit really hard. It was just a pretty good slider and he took a good swing at it.”

DeGrom has now allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings over two starts this spring.

Jacob deGromDeGrom’s outing got a little loss in the midst of the lefty reliever situation yesterday. But he looked really sharp, especially in his first two innings. It was clear in the third inning he was working specifically on his off-speed pitches, and he featured a deadly change-up on several occasions during the course of his outing. deGrom was especially sharp in the second inning when he struck out three batters in the frame, striking out four of the first six batters he faced while otherwise inducing insignificant contact for the other two outs. He had a good, hard, tailing fastball which was consistently in the mid-90s, and he had the Nationals completely perplexed when he floated his change-up, which was just falling off the table.

It’s easy to look at a line score and draw quick conclusions about how a player looked, especially a pitcher, which is what Spring Training games are really for. But to me, these outings – for deGrom and the other starters – really need the eye test, and little to no focus on the statistical results. As I said, it was clear in the third inning deGrom shifted the program and was coming in with breaking balls and off-speed primarily. He got knocked around as a result, but it in these cases, it’s more about the pitcher trying to get a feel for the pitch rather than trying to get a hitter out. He said he felt comfortable with what he was doing, the pitches had a lot of movement and differential off of his fastball. So, I’d say, mission accomplished for deGrom.

To read more about deGrom’s second start of the spring, check out Anthony DiComo’s story for MLB.com.