Jacob deGrom wasn't his usual dominant pitcher Thursday night but it was enough for the New York Mets to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 5 of the NLDS and advance to the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.
DeGrom ended up throwing just six innings. He allowed six hits, three walks and was almost pulled in the third inning during by manager Terry Collins, but he came up big when it mattered the most. In the third prior to the mound visit deGrom walked Yasmani Grandal to put runners on the corners.
"I honestly didn't know," deGrom said. "I knew I was struggling. He came out there and said, 'Hey, let's go one pitch at a time. They're not going to score anymore.' He had confidence in me. I'm thankful I got to stay in that game." deGrom then pulled off a 1-6-3 double play.
Degrom gave up four straight one out singles in the first inning. However from there on he consistently made big outs in key situations. He held the dodgers to 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position after the Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the first.
"I think that's probably the hardest I've had to work,” deGrom said. "I knew from inning one it was going to be a battle. I knew then I didn't have my best stuff. And that's a good lineup over there. It's not fun when you don't have your best stuff against them. The fastball was the toughest pitch I had locating, which is not normal for me. I had pretty good control of my curveball, so I went to that quite a bit. I was trying to get first-pitch strikes with that. With two strikes I was using it a lot, too."
He battled through his six innings of worked and it paid off leaving deGrom in to finish what he started. He came up big when it meant the most and the team is now advancing to the second round of the playoffs. deGrom also became the fourth pitcher to beat two previous CY Young winners in the same postseason series after getting the best of Kershaw in game one and Grienke in game 5. The Mets will play the Cubs tonight in Citi Field.