Jacob deGrom had to work his butt off to get where he is. A converted shortstop, he has climbed through the Mets system for the past three seasons, pitching well at times, but never getting the press or the push that his better-pedigreed colleagues like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler andNoah Syndergaard have received. And for good reason, of course. His stuff is not as noteworthy. He’s already 26. It’s not like he had “superstar” stamped on his forehead.
But whatever his promise is and whatever his future holds, his recent performance has been quite a thing. Last night he allowed one run in seven innings while striking out seven in beating the Mariners. Over his last six starts he’s 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA. He’s 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA over his past three, walking three and striking out 26 in those three games. Last night he was particularly dominant, dialing it up to a consistent 94 m.p.h. and getting 14 swings-and-misses from M’s batters.
Is this indicative of what he’ll always do? Doubtful. But he’s been quite a revelation for the Mets this season. And just the latest bit of evidence that the Mets’ future is looking pretty bright.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.