Jacob deGrom had to make his debut tonight, on a night when the Mets would provide him with nothing in the way of offensive support, leaving him to take the collar of defeat when he was finally reached for one measly run in the last of his 7 innings of work. He deserved a better fate.
In a matchup of two guys making their Major League Debuts in the pressure cooker of the Subway Series, it was deGrom who shined, throwing shutout ball into the 7th inning, but Chase Whitley matched him in his 5 innings of work, and was followed by an even more eye-popping outing from faded prospect Dellin Betances and finished off by not Mariano Rivera (because the Mets might have beaten him). Daniel Murphy and David Wright couldn't turn an overshift-induced Double Play in the top of the 7th, and Alfonso Soriano subsequently made the Mets pay by hitting a double so far up the alley in Left-Center that glue-shoed Mr. Morality Brian McCann all the way from 1st base with the game's only run. After scoring 21 runs in 2 games in the Bronx, the Mets came home and scored 0 runs in 2 games, and looked pretty silly in doing so.
Yet, though they lost both games in Citi Field, the Mets have to have emerged with a bit of enhanced regard based on the way their two young starters performed. Rafael Montero acquitted himself well enough on Wednesday night, but tonight, Jacob deGrom was great. deGrom hasn't had quite the panache of the Harvey/Wheeler prospect line, and even Montero has drawn more attention then him. And perhaps he may end up being little more than a talented trade chip, but if he's going to pitch like he did tonight, he's going to be here for a while. He seems very much out of the Bronson Arroyo mold, the kind of pitcher who sports a flowing mop of hair and an array of pitches that can get him through games and probably allow him to eat plenty of innings along the way. He also accomplished the one thing no Mets pitcher had managed to do this season and get a hit. So, once again, even though the Mets lost the game and their hitters looked foolish, at least there's something positive that can be taken away from it.
So, finally, the Subway Series excitement is done for 2014, and that's just as well. At least the Mets split the series this season instead of something worse happening.