Sunday, August 3, 2014

New Sensation

In a matchup of Dueling Jakes that took no hitters late into the game last night, it was Jacob deGrom who broke first, allowing the game's first hit to Pablo Sandoval in the top of the 7th inning. But in the end, it was also Jacob deGrom who emerged victorious as his teammates broke through for not just a hit—Daniel Murphy's double in the bottom of the 7th that floated over the head of Michael Morse—but 4 runs off of Jake Peavy in the 7th that proved to be enough to give the Mets the margin of victory in a taut 4-2 affair.

Whether he'd won or lost, the effort would have been another feather in the cap for deGrom, who once again proved that his recent hot streak may not be a fluke, but the norm. Plenty has been said about deGrom not being as heralded or hyped as some of the other names in the Mets system, but he's pitched just as well as anyone, not just on the team but in the league of late. It speaks volumes of the depth of the Mets system, that someone can emerge with the talent level of a deGrom completely under the radar until he hits the Major leagues and starts dropping quality start after quality start on other teams, and teams that are right in the thick of pennant races to boot. Fans have begun to take note as well, as deGrom has emerged as kind of a folk hero, much in the same vein that another unheralded guy who came to the Mets and played really well did a number of years ago, Daniel Murphy. Murphy came up, hit really well out of the gate and all of a sudden was the Mets new pop hero, and this is what deGrom has become in the past month or so.

Last night was, basically, just another normal outing for deGrom. He stood toe to toe with Peavy throughout a majority of the game, not giving an inch to Peavy or a resurgent Giants lineup throughout the early portion of the game. When he bent in the 7th, he only bent but didn't break, and in the bottom of the 7th, his teammates finally strung some hits together and broke out for a 4-run Rally that was started by Murphy and aided by a sac fly from Travis d'Arnaud and a punctuating 2-run double from Wilmer Flores.

With the lead, deGrom ran out of steam in the 8th, but he only allowed the Giants to get two of the four runs back before turning the game over to another pair of unsung heroes for the Mets this season, the 1-2 punch of Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia. Familia's maturation has been particularly nice to see, given how poorly he pitched early in the season, but he seems to have found himself, harnessed the great stuff he always had and learned how to pitch effectively, which was all he really needed to do in order to find success. For Mejia, cast in a role he didn't want, he's nonetheless just shut up, made his pitches and has been as dominant as he was in a starting role at the beginning of the season.

deGrom's getting the hype now, and rightfully so, but the combination of these three pitchers that served to net the Mets a much-needed victory last night is what really makes the future of this team so tantalizing going forward. These are young guys with bright futures and the Mets seem to have a number of these guys just starting to emerge.

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