Mets ace Jacob deGrom looked slightly off in yesterday's Game 3 of the NLCS. Much like in Game 5 of the NLDS, he seemed to lack command he had all season long. He gave up a run in the first off a solo shot by Kyle Schwarber it took deGrom 29 pitches to get out of the first as he ran the count full three times. It looked as if it was going to be a short outing for their ace.
However from there on the pitcher settled in by fighting his way through the lineup. Without his best stuff entering the game he held the Mets to a 2 runs in route to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs. He ended up pitching seven innings on the night, hurling 100 pitches and only allowing 2 earned on 4 hits. It was a spectacular outing and his third straight win of the postseason.
DeGrom seemed to get better as the game went on. After a second solo shot by Cubs' right fielder Jorge Soler, He didn't allow another run.
“I don’t know why the first inning has been so tough for me,” deGrom said. “The last thing I want to do, like I said before, when our guys go out there and put up a run is to give it right back up and I’ve done that the past few times…“I think I talked to Travis and I noticed that they were hitting the fastball pretty well. So I said, ‘Hey, let’s try to throw some off-speed up there early on and see if we can get early contact' and that ended up working for me.”
DeGrom's ability to make adjustment is what is allowing him thrive in the postseason and possibly be the team's most valuable playoff asset. He is winning games without his best stuff and holding off the best teams in baseball.
“It starts with our starting pitching,” David Wright said. “As you saw tonight, just like the closeout game in L.A., Jake probably didn’t have his best stuff, his best command, his best fastball. But he found a way to win, and that is the biggest compliment you can give a starting pitcher is when they don’t have their best stuff, they figure out a way to give you seven innings of two-run ball. That, like I said, is a tremendous compliment.”
The Mets will try to close out the Cubs Tonight in Wrigley with rookie pitcher Matz on the mound.