Making his second major league start, Jacob deGrom looked poised to pick up his first win against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night. DeGrom looked stellar in his first outing against the cross-town rival the New York Yankees. But he came up short in a 1-0 loss, where a lack of run support hindered what was a performance worthy of a win.
In this most recent outing against the Dodgers, run support and a communication error late in the game proved to be the difference. DeGrom, though, kept his team in the game, and he gave the Mets an opportunity to win. A few costly balls that were left up in the zone to some of baseball’s hottest hitters were the only runs he let up.
“Outside of the home run balls, which hurt him, I thought he pitched, very, very well,” Mets manager Terry Collins told Kristie Ackert from the Daily News.
DeGrom also talked about the home runs he let up in the game, per Ackert.
“I just go out there and try to throw it where I want; I just happened to miss a couple times and they didn't miss it”.
DeGrom seems to have the composure and mound presence to be a quality starter in the Mets rotation. Baseball is a game where mental toughness is essential and deGrom has thus far shown that element is part of his game.
“He’s got a great demeanor on the mound. And when he wants to reach back for a little extra it’s there. Impressive kid,” Collins said about deGrom's attitude when pitching, per Ackert.
His fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s, but the pitch has a lot of movement on it. Moreover, his off-speed pitches have shown great depth, particularly his changeup. Against the Dodgers he was able to change eye levels and mix in different pitches effectively.
Collins on deGrom, per Ackert.
“He changed speeds, he used his breaking ball effectively”.
DeGrom also picked up a hit, his second in two games. Currently, he has the only hits between all Mets pitchers.
Eric Campbell, the other emerging bright spot for the Mets, has wasted no time becoming familiar with major leagues. In Wednesday’s game against the Dodgers, he crushed a two-run homer to cut the deficit to one. The Mets ultimately came up short in the game, but nevertheless it was a display of clutch hitting in a key situation.
Campbell has spent six long years in the minors, but after hitting .355 in Triple-A, Campbell was called up. He has been able to translate his success to the major league level thus far. Currently, the 27-year-old from Connecticut is batting .438. He’s collected a hit in every one of the games he’s played in with the exception of his first one against the Phillies.
Campbell got the start over Lucas Duda because the lefty Hyun-jin Ryu was on the mound. But if he keeps swinging the way he is, Collins will have to find a spot for him in the everyday roster.
According to Mike Puma at the New York Post, Collins said he's looking to put Campbell in the lineup more.
"With the way he's swinging you gotta find some place to put him”.
Though the sample sizes on deGrom and Campbell are minuscule, Mets fans have something to be excited about. In recent years, All-Stars have been hard to come by for the Mets. Besides David Wright and perhaps one other pitcher such as Matt Harvey or R.A. Dickey, the team struggles to produce consistent All-Stars.
Could these two prospects emerge into something bigger? We’ll need more time to determine their full potential, but so far what we've seen has us wanting more.