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As you might expect, the Low-A Cardinals hitters were completely overmatched, as deGrom struck out eight over his three innings, including six consecutive punchouts as he struck out the side in order in the second and third innings.
His right side tightness that forced him on the IL on May 11 didn’t seem to have any lingering effects, as deGrom hit 102 mph on the radar gun. The right-hander threw 41 pitches over his three hitless innings of work, 30 of which were strikes.
The Mets have been taking things one day at a time with deGrom, but if all goes well and deGrom responds well over the next few days, the ace could theoretically make his return on his normal day in the rotation on Tuesday against the Rockies on Citi Field, or perhaps the Mets could give him an extra day and have him pitch Wednesday.
For now, though, the Mets have to have liked what they saw from deGrom in his first rehab start.
DeGrom previously said that his level of concern is “definitely not very high,” saying that he thinks the tightness had more to do with his mechanics than anything else.
“After getting the MRI and stuff, the level of concern definitely went down,” deGrom said. “I mean even out there, I wasn’t really concerned that I had hurt something, I just noticed that it was tightening up, [my] ride side. Looking at video, I think some of it has to do with mechanics, so I think the plan is to get it back feeling normal and go from there.”