Mets' Jacob deGrom focused on getting pitch count up as Opening Day approaches

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Coby Green
·2 min read
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Jacob deGrom front view pitching at ST
Jacob deGrom front view pitching at ST

Opening Day is nearly two weeks away, and Mets ace Jacob deGrom continues to shine down in Florida during Spring Training.

deGrom picked up his second win of spring in the Mets' 8-3 victory over the Houston Astros Monday. He threw 50 pitches over 4.0 innings of work, striking out six and allowing just two hits -- though one was a home run.

But despite the continued excellence this spring, deGrom is focused on what lies ahead, and wants to get his arm ready for a full season of work.

"Happy to go out there and get four innings, actually threw 15 more in the bullpen to get that pitch count up," deGrom said after his performance. "I think I got two left before we start the season so that’s the goal. You kinda expect that when you’re out there for four times. You haven’t done it in a while so you have to get the pitch count up.

“The mindset is the same, it’s just where I want it to end up. Pretty much where I start it is the main thing.”

Aside from getting his pitches up, deGrom has played around with trying different pitches out, even during situations when he usually wouldn't go to them.

“The slider the past two starts I’ve been really happy with it and bullpen in between. We’ve been working on just locating it, throwing it for a strike when I need to and the two-strike one," deGrom said.

“You’re out here trying to get your work in. You don’t necessarily pitch the guys the same as you’re going to pitch them during the season. The last inning today, I threw some changeups in some situations I probably wouldn’t but just wanted to throw it. You want to get outs for sure, that’s just the competitive part of it. But you still get your work in.”

deGrom pitched just 68 innings in the shortened 2020 season after throwing over 201 innings in the previous three seasons, so he'll need to readjust to the heavy workload like the rest of the league.

But the two-time Cy Young award winner's stuff is clearly there and looks ready for April 1.