Jacob de Grom ready for Mets in response to injury

WASHINGTON. Some of the best baseball players have changed teams over the past few days, including Juan Sotoa talented young slugger who was traded from the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday before the Major League Baseball trade deadline.

The Mets made a few trades of their own, but only to improve the side of the team. They did nothing spectacular other than welcome the return of the generation pitcher.

Jacob de Grom, a two-time Cy Young National League winner, returned to the track Tuesday night after more than a year of battling injury and looking almost as confident as ever.

DeGrom, who had been out since spring training with a stress reaction-induced right shoulder blade injury, threw five power baseball innings and allowed one run and three hits, scoring six. The Nationals played with a depleted roster after sending Soto and Josh Bell to the Padres for a set of valuable prospects earlier in the day, and for most of the game they looked confused and befuddled.

Showcasing his signature fastball and pairing it with skillful out-of-speed pitches at key strikeout moments, deGrom hit 100 mph 13 times in his 59 innings, including one that hit 101.6 mph against Victor Robles. Washington’s first slugger. games.

When he hit veteran slugger Nelson Cruz in the second inning with a 93 mph run, Cruz returned to the bench shaking his head.

But showing caution, the Mets sent off deGrom, who is 34 and has a history of injury problems, after the fifth inning. The Nationals benefited from back-to-back home runs from Luis Garcia and Yadiel Hernandez off relief pitcher Steven Nogosek in the sixth, and the Nationals won 5-1.

But it was a very small photo. The more important development was that deGrom looked strong and nearly invincible – like himself, in other words – and fans can now see a clearer picture of the tantalizing playoff pitching rotation for the top-seeded Mets, with deGrom and Max Scherzer leading it.

Many of those fans poured into the National Park on Tuesday eager to see deGrom in person for the first time since July 7, 2021, when he missed the remainder of the season with a right forearm injury. Then in spring training, he developed a stress response that could lead to a stress fracture.

His comeback came almost 13 months after his last performance.

“Can you imagine that you have this potential at your fingertips, but you can’t use it?” Buck Showalter, Mets manager, said before the game.

An hour later, at 6:24 p.m., deGrom emerged from the Mets’ dugout and made his way to the bullpen, prompting a round of applause from the several dozen fans who were already in the park. When he first took the mound in the first inning, the fan base increased to thousands and they gave deGrom a round of applause.

The Nationals’ only attempt against him came in the fourth inning when Robles dribbled one off the ground and stole second base. He scored when Garcia sent a 99 mph fastball into a hole in right field. But deGrom avoided the remainder of that half and only needed eight pitches to clear the fifth.

Francisco Lindor hit the first sixth to equalize 1-1 so deGrom wasn’t blamed for the loss, a fate that was all too familiar to the slender right-hander from his years at the Mets when performances were wiped out by poor offensive support. or improper delivery of assistance. Over the past four seasons, deGrom has averaged 1.94, but his win-loss record was just 32-21.

The Mets are hoping that with a better team behind him and closer Edwin Diaz, who has been terrific this year, many of those embarrassing losses will turn into wins, especially in the postseason. After that, more unknowns appeared. DeGrom said he plans to opt out of his contract and become a free agent.

But for now and for the rest of the year, the Mets will be happy to consider him as a great addition on trade deadline day.