Jacob deGrom is calm, cool and ready for his Game 5 start
Jacob deGrom and the Mets arrived in Los Angeles late this afternoon ahead of their showdown with the Dodgers on Thursday in Los Angeles.
DeGrom will be making the biggest start of his career on Thursday, pitching on five-days rest after striking out 13 in seven brilliant innings in game one of the Division Series.
He is tasked with lifting the Mets off of a humbling loss against Clayton Kershaw at Citi Field on Tuesday. He went 7-4 with a 1.83 ERA in 12 starts following a team loss in 2015.
But deGrom knows he’s pitching the biggest game of his life and the biggest game for the franchise in nine years.
“You try to get the team back on a winning streak,” he explained. “I think going into tomorrow, it’s probably the biggest game I’ve ever pitched. I think that will kind of be in my mind and I’ll go out there and just try to put up zeros.”
DeGrom has been so calm and collected in big games throughout his first two big league seasons, and he credits being able to pitch in the Subway Series in his big league debut for his ability to keep himself so calm in big spots.
“I just try to block everything out once I get on the field,” the right-hander explained. “The nerves go away, and it’s the same game we’ve been playing all year. I’m able to think about that and just try to take it one pitch at a time and make the best pitch I can at that time.
“If I do give up a hit or something, so what?” deGrom continued. “I’ve still got to go out there and compete.”
Still, deGrom admitted he was nervous making his Postseason debut in game one last Friday.
“Early on my pitch count was getting up, and once I noticed that, I was just trying to get quick outs and kind of trying to go away from the strikeouts,” he admitted on Thursday.
DeGrom needed 121 pitches in game one, and said he thinks the extra day’s rest will benefit him for his start on Thursday.
“But an extra day never hurts you, especially with how many pitches I threw before,” he said.
Zack Greinke – who will face deGrom on Thursday – was asked to compare deGrom to Noah Syndergaard, his game two opponent last Saturday.
“They both have amazing fastballs,” Greinke explained. “I just think deGrom might have a little more location. They’re both really fast, and they both are good hitting pitchers. So they’re about as similar as you’re going to get, I guess. That’s pretty similar match-up. There’s a little more experience from deGrom maybe.”
DeGrom credits his team’s resilience to one thing: desire.
“I think it comes from the desire to win,” he said. “This was our goal. We want to make it to the World Series, and this is one step towards that. So I just think we never give up and we battle till the end.”