Jacob deGrom was back on the mound for the Mets on Friday since his short stint on the IL with elbow soreness, but the struggles continued for the right-hander.
After a two-hour, 42-minute rain delay, deGrom lasted just four innings, allowing five runs on five hits while striking out seven but was pulled after tossing 89 pitches with the Mets trailing 5-1. He was uncharacteriscally wild, too, walking three batters and hitting two more.
It was the third consecutive start deGrom has failed to pitch beyond the fifth inning in but the Mets ace and manager Mickey Callaway both pointed to a mechanical issue as the root of the problem.
They both said the right-hander has been drifting off the mound, which results in deGrom's arm angle changing and not being able to locate his pitches.
"It's frustrating," deGrom said. "I gotta figure it out. That's all there is to it. I wasn't very good tonight."
DeGrom began to run into trouble in the second inning when he got into a bases-loaded, one-out jam but was able to escape the inning unscathed by striking out Chase Anderson and Lorenzo Cain to end the inning.
However, deGrom loaded the bases again in the third after already allowing a run and this time could not escape, allowing a two-run double to Eric Thames followed by a two-run single by Orlando Arcia.
The Mets ace was scratched from his last start on Saturday and retroactively placed on the 10-day IL with a sore elbow, but an MRI showed no issues with his elbow and he was able to continue throwing with no pain in order to make Friday's start.
"Arm feels great," deGrom said. "That's what's frustrating. It felt really good then to go out there and do that, it was embarrassing."
The two-week layoff between starts plus the rain delay -- which he has dealt with in his last three starts -- also raised questions about his performance but deGrom scoffed at that notion.
"That's not an excuse," he said. "I wasn't good. I didn't make the pitches when I needed to. I stunk."