The day before taking the mound at Citi Field, Jacob deGrom played it cool. The 2014 National League Rookie of the Year shrugged off starting the upcoming home opener, telling reporters it was an honor, but nothing more than his next start.
Later that night, after the Mets’ charter had flown over Citi Field and he had a private moment, deGrom was a little more honest with himself and a teammate.
“We rode back in together and he was asking me a lot of questions about it,” said Dillon Gee, who was the Mets Opening Day starter at Citi Field in 2013. “I told him the best thing is that you are in the bullpen and don’t really notice what is going on (with the ceremonies).”
If deGrom was indeed nervous Monday, it did not show once he took the mound. The righthander went out and shut down the Phillies 2-0 in front of a regular-season record crowd of 43,947 at Citi Field Monday.
It was the first shutout of the season for the Mets (4-3).
DeGrom scattered seven hits over 6.1 innings. He walked one and struck out three.
He is getting used to the fact that he cannot give up anything. Over two starts, the Mets have scored a total of two runs while deGrom was in the game.
The Mets offense continued to struggle Monday, only taking the lead in the fourth because Phillies starter Aaron Harang could not field a comebacker that bounced off his own glove. In the eighth inning, Michael Cuddyer, who had two hits Monday, scored on Travis d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly, which was set up by a Chase Utley fielding error.
Nine of the Mets’ 22 runs this season have been unearned.
The Mets were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base, which includes Cuddyer being stranded at third after a one-out triple in the sixth and David Wright striking out with runners on first and second in the seventh.
The bullpen, a question mark coming into the season, backed up deGrom.
Carlos Torres finished off the seventh for deGrom, going to a full count on Ben Revere before striking him out on an 88-mph cutter. Jerry Blevins pitched a clean eighth, striking out Ryan Howard to end the inning. Jeurys Familia got a crucial 3-6-1 double play to help close it out for his second save of the season.
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