BRONX, NY – I was really toying with the idea of posting something positive or maybe even uplifting today, but screw that stupid idea. What I’d really like to address, at hopefully moderate length, is how deMets continue to deStroy deCareer of one Jacob deGrom. What this poor (not financially, but figuratively), and supremely talented, guy has had to endure is absolutely deSgraceful. Let’s get dirty, shall we?
As I mentioned in a comments thread here not too long ago, the New York Mets are killing Jacob deGrom in front of our very eyes. It’s not death by 1,000 paper cuts, but instead a torturous, drawn-out pageant of offensive ineptitude where one guy—deGrom—tries to beat Major League Baseball teams all by himself. Think Bugs Bunny vs. The Gashouse Gorillas… but not funny at all.
Let’s get the truly gruesome stuff out of the way first. The Mets’ bullpen has pissed away 31 games and counting where deGrom has left as the winning pitcher of record. Some blown games happen but, 31??? It’s not like he’s a five or six innings and done kinda guy either. Then factor in all the games he’s pitched well enough to win—like his wasted 14k performance last Saturday—but never got the run support to exit the game with a lead, and that 31 number has to at least double.
A guy with stuff like deGrom should still expect to win games where he gives up 2 to 3 runs, but not in Metsville. He pretty much has to pitch shutout ball to have a fighting chance. The Mets offense scores as about often for deGrom as Ben Whitney did with high school crush Christine Mendelbaum. Hey, ya gotta set the bar somewhere. Right now, outside of Nimmo and Dom Smith, no one in the Mets’ lineup is really hitting. But this goes back over years, in regards to deGrom. Between the shoddy pen and the inept offense, there’s plenty of blame to go round. But there are two guys that serve as perfect examples of the Mets’ deGroundhog Day symptoms.
On offense, Michael Conforto has seemed poised to finally wrest the mantle of “boyish white guy Mets fans want their daughters to marry but rarely comes through in the clutch” from the weakened grip of former team captain David Wright. Remember all those big late-game heroics from Wright? Neither do I. If you can offer me even three I’d be impressed. Conforto isn’t Wright (both good or bad) but you get a similar vibe. People keep talking about extending Conforto. Fine. But don’t pay the guy a fortune because he “looks the part.” Right now Conforto is hitting .143 with 3 hits. Comparatively, deGrom is hitting .600 with 3 hits. It’s early in the season, I get it, but Conforto’s needs to start producing.
In the pen, there’s no reason to talk about anyone other than Edwin Diaz, who is the gold standard of next-generation bullpen arsonists. Steve Cohen should build Diaz a rocket ship and send him to Jupiter, or at least buy him a coach seat back to Seattle. Believe, me the Mariners would take him. While he hasn’t been responsible for all the blown deGrom games, he’s the Meltdown Matinee Idol of that pig pen.
Finally, there’s manager Luis Rojas. I have no real feelings about Luis Rojas. I can barely picture Luis Rojas, or even remember his name. Luis Rojas is like one of those Fatal Attraction movie knockoffs, with titles like, Primal Fear or Basic Instinct or Unwelcome Distraction or Addition by Subtraction. Which is to say, he seems like a placeholder until someone (anyone!) can come up with someone or something that can wake this club up and give the best pitcher in the game today a little damn support.
That’s it. I’m done. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz. Now there’s a memorable name!