Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom came close to setting a new personal record during the club’s 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball, marking his fifth quality start and fourth win of the season and tying a career-best 13 strikeouts as the D-backs struggled to get on base.
deGrom lost a potential no-hitter following a first-pitch single from Alex Avila in the top of the third, but he still managed to hold the D-backs scoreless through 5 1/3 frames. Jake Lamb provided Arizona with their first and only run of the evening, lashing an RBI double to score Steven Souza Jr. in the sixth. From there, the rest of the D-backs were limited to just one hit, as Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia each set down a scoreless inning to polish off the win.
It’s a reassuring look for the Mets’ starter, especially as he recently came off the 10-day disabled list with a hyperextended right elbow. The 30-year-old righty appeared a little shaky in his last outing, too — he expended 45 pitches, three walks and two strikeouts in one inning of work — but seems to have regained both his composure and dominance since then. He currently holds a 1.75 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.6 SO/9 through 51 1/3 innings in 2018.
Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.
This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.
Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.
Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.