The Pitcher: Jacob deGrom
The New York Mets may not have an offense that is on fire early this season, but their arms are fierce. The Phillies are coming into this series with a ton of offensive momentum. The additions have made an impact and their new approach (when used correctly) produces runs in bunches.
The Phils have had pretty good luck against Harvey in the past and Wheeler is coming back after missing two seasons. They should be able to at least put together some innings against both righties. The problem is in order to continue the momentum, they have to deal with the 6’4” deGrom who was dominant the first time out against Atlanta (0 runs in six innings with six strikeouts, a walk, and one hit).
Against the Phils in his career, the 28-year-old deGrom has had little struggle. He has never lost in his seven starts (4-0, including a complete game) and has allowed 34 hits in 44.2 innings. The powerful righty sits consistently around 94 MPH and that led to 44 Ks against Philly’s hitters over the last three seasons.
At CBP, he has felt pretty comfortable, pitching to a .188 batting average against with 21 strikeouts. He has only allowed four homers in his 18 innings in South Philly. He is in the year following a cleanup style elbow surgery, and this new look Phillies lineup hopes to take advantage, putting an end to the favorable numbers.
With a look at deGrom’s pitch usage, there is not a huge disparity between his putaway pitch. Sure he loves his fastball, using it to strike out 67 batters last season. His four other pitches combined to fan for 56 more hitters in 2016. The Phils will want to avoid the slider, not only for his ability to strike batters out with it, but the 88 MPH pitch is one that guys only put in play for a hit 17% of the time.
The Phils are looking to continue momentum on a beautiful Monday night. A long haired, hard-throwing deGrom is looking to halt it over the course of the next nine innings. Can he continue his dominance over the Phillies?