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Jacob deGrom was on the verge of having a special night on Wednesday. The right-hander retired the first nine Cubs he had faced through three perfect innings, eight of them by strikeout. That is when the former two-time Cy Young winner began to feel tightness in his right shoulder, forcing him out of the game and causing panic throughout baseball.
The Mets ace left his previous start after 80 pitches due to right flexor tendinitis, an injury that most felt he was fortunate to get through. Now deGrom and the baseball world must wait once again for the results of an MRI to see if the best pitcher in baseball will once again be able to avoid catastrophe and return to his historic 0.54 ERA through 11 starts.
After the game deGrom told reporters that he felt fine warming up before the game and did not notice that anything was wrong until the third inning. “This is getting old,” the 32-year-old exclaimed. “I want to be out there competing. Hopefully, this turns out to be nothing.”
We all hope that Jacob.
The Mets did a series of strength tests and feel confident that they have ruled out any serious injury, but nothing will be known for sure until the all-star goes in for his MRI.
As to the string of injuries that have plagued him all season, deGrom stated that “I think it's three separate issues. I think the lat was something to do with the swing. The elbow I didn’t think too much of, and I said I was pretty confident that was nothing. And I’m pretty confident that this is nothing.”
The glass half full way of thinking is that Jacob deGrom has been correct to this point and that each injury is independent rather than connected in some form. Although it is very telling that the right-hander used the word “frustrating” 11 times during his press conference. That is exactly the word to describe this situation.
The Mets have a tough schedule coming up with multiple doubleheaders causing a roster crunch, but even under these circumstances, it may be wise to shut their ace down for a couple of weeks regardless of the MRI results. Baseball is a better place with Jacob deGrom pitching, please handle him with care.
Pitchers with an EDGE
Sandy Alcantara vs Cardinals
8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 K
Alcantara pitched a gem, even in defeat. The groundball artist tossed a season-high 108 pitches in the contest and was still reaching 100 mph in his final inning. The Marlins ace now holds a 3.09 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over 93 1/3 innings this season with 87 punchouts.
Tyler Mahle vs Brewers
6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 12 K
Mahle retired the final 12 batters he faced in the game, with nine of them coming by strikeout. The Reds right-hander generated 19 whiffs with a 36 percent CSW and now carries a 3.39 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 74 1/3 frames. Mahle is well on his way to being anointed a legitimate ace.
Johan Oviedo vs Marlins
7 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 4 K
Oviedo pitched well, allowing just six singles and no walks. It was a shame Mike Schildt would not allow him to come out for the eighth inning. It was the best start of the 23-year-old's young career.
Hitters with an EDGE
Jose Altuve vs Rangers
2-for-4, 2 HR
Altuve crushed the second pitch of the game off Jordan Lyles and smashed his second homer of the game in the eighth inning off Rangers closer Ian Kennedy. The Astros second baseman is having a strong season so far, batting .294/.363/.511 with 15 home runs, 48 runs scored, 36 RBI, and two stolen bases.
Chas McCormick vs Rangers
2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI
McCormick took Jordan Lyles deep to right field for his seventh home run of the season in the second inning. The 26-year-old then led off the sixth inning with a solo shot off of Taylor Hearn. McCormick may be batting just .236 but has flashed enough power to be dangerous whenever he is in the lineup.
Trevor Story vs Padres
2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 Runs, 2 BB, 2 SB
Even without a home run, this may have been Story's best game of the season. The 28-year-old is now batting .251/.332/.415 with five home runs, 15 doubles, 32 runs, 26 RBI, and 11 stolen bases. The real story (pun intended) is how long Trevor is going to be in a Rockies uniform.
Daniel Vogelbach (Available in 96% percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues)
The six-foot, 270-pound Vogelbach has always carried a high on-base skill during his career but is now batting .256/.384/.512 over the last 30 games with five home runs, 17 walks, and 21 strikeouts. The 28-year-old has been especially hot of late, carrying a .304 batting average over the past seven with a .739 slugging percentage. On Thursday the left-handed first baseman will get a crack at Rockies righty German Marquez, who allowed nine runs to the Reds last week, at Coors Field. It’s a great matchup for a hitter who has posted an amazing 1.090 OPS in June so far. Pick up Vogelbach.
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Brad Hand vs Pirates
1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K (13th Save)
Hand has now converted 10 straight save chances since blowing his second save on May 12, and he has not allowed a run in his last four appearances.
Lucas Sims vs Brewers
1 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K (7th Save)
All four of the batters Sims collected were by strikeout. The right-hander has not allowed a run in nine of his last 10 appearances.
Michael Fulmer vs Royals
1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K (5th Save)
Fulmer was asked to protect a three-run lead and was nearly able to do that cleanly before some two-out drama. Whit Merrifield smashed an RBI double before Carlos Santana drove in another run with an RBI single. Luckily Fulmer was able to get Salvador Perez to strike out swinging to end the threat and the game.
Aroldis Chapman vs Blue Jays
1 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K (14th Save)
Chapman surrendered a leadoff single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., followed by a double to Teoscar Hernandez, but he somehow managed to escape the inning unharmed. The flamethrower now boasts a 1.78 ERA and 0.99 WHIP over 25 1.3 innings.
Edwin Diaz vs Cubs
1/3 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K (14th Save)
Drew Smith started the ninth inning with New York up 6-1, but allowed a two-run home run to Rafael Ortega and a single to Sergio Alcantara. This caused Mets manager Luis Rojas to call upon his prized closer to finish the game out. Diaz now carries 2.70 ERA and 1.01 WHIP this season over 26 2/3 innings with 37 strikeouts.
Emmanuel Clase vs Orioles
1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (11th Save)
The 23-year-old struck out Ryan Mountcastle to open the frame before generating weak contact for the final two outs. Clase has been fantastic this season, posting a 0.94 ERA over 28 2/3 innings with 32 strikeouts.
Adam Ottavino vs Braves
1 IP. 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K (4th Save)
Ottavino got into some hot water in the ninth but caught a huge break when Ronald Acuna tried to stretch a double into a triple and was thrown out. The right-hander is carrying a 2.89 ERA while working as the primary setup man for closer Matt Barnes.
Thursday’s Matchup of the Day
Matt Manning (Major League Debut)
Shohei Ohtani (2-1, 2.85 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
Truth be told, it’s difficult to have high expectations for Manning on Thursday despite his promising pedigree. The former 2016 first-round pick has posted an 8.07 ERA and 1.55 WHIP across 32 1/3 innings this season in Triple-A, allowing 11 home runs. A forearm injury led to an early shutdown in 2020, and like many other prospects, the 23-year-old lost an entire season of potential development due to the pandemic. However, the Tigers' confidence in promoting Manning should still call for some excitement. The right-hander has been known to crank his fastball into the triple-digits while boasting a plus-curveball.
Manning will face off against the likely favorite for the American League MVP award, Shohei Ohtani. The hybrid superstar has struck out 68 batters this season over 47 1/3 frames while batting .266 with 19 home runs and nine stolen bases. The 26-year-old may be the most must-watch player in baseball at the moment.
American League Quick Hits: Andrelton Simmons left Wednesday's game with left ankle tightness … Josh Donaldson left Wednesday's game with tightness in his right calf … Rafael Dolis became the latest member of the Blue Jays bullpen to leave the game with an apparent injury … Alex Bregman had to exit Wednesday's game with a left quad injury … Anthony Santander was given the day off due to ankle soreness … Kyle Tucker was placed on the COVID injured list … Orioles prospect DL Hall will be sidelined for a couple of weeks with elbow soreness … Orioles first-round pick from 20202 Heston Kjerstad has been dealing with reoccurring heart inflammation … Brady Singer left Wednesday's start with right posterior shoulder tightness.
National League Quick Hits: Corey Seager is expected to start a minor league rehab assignment next week … Zac Gallen will be activated from the injured list in order to start Thursday … Cubs placed Dillon Maples on the 10-day injured list with a right biceps strain … Michael Conforto began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday … Carlos Carrasco has resumed his throwing program on flat ground.