After allowing three runs, a walk and eight hits in just five innings in Thursday's 5-3 road loss to the San Diego Padres, New York Mets RHP Jacob deGrom hopes to adjust his mechanics to perform better on the mound.
"I came in and watched some video right after I came out," deGrom said after the game. "Last year my elbow was above my shoulder. This year it's not even getting close to above it, and my stride is toward the first-base side. I don't know if you see how far I'm falling off toward first base. There's some things to work on there. I definitely think so. I felt good coming out. I felt good in the bullpen. I think just sometimes when I get out there I try to do too much."
The loss puts deGrom at 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in four starts this season.
"I don't even know how many hits I gave up when I had guys with two strikes," he said, lamenting his performance. "I just couldn't put them away, leaving the off-speed in the middle and giving them a chance, and at times throwing it not even close to the zone. Then it goes to 3-2 and there's a pretty good chance there's a fastball coming and they end up getting a hit off that."
According to deGrom, there is no reason he and pitching coach Dan Warthen can't correct his delivery before his next start, which he believes will help him get better command of his fastball and changeup.
He is next scheduled to pitch Tuesday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
This is common. The good news is deGrom and Warhen are clearly aware of it, and it'll be corrected. Basically, what he's saying is that his glove hand is low and pulling him open as he whips his pitching hand around, which then is elevated and out in a way that 1) the hitter can get a nice look at whatever the pitch is about to be and 2) because his arm and shoulder are up, his head is off center, he's throwing across his body, he's less compact and the pitch is less powerful and always up in the strike zone. In other words, it's batting practice for the opposition.
Again, nearly every pitcher goes through this at some point, either because they're rushing, tired or had been tinkering with mechanics and developed bad habits. I think in deGrom's case, it could be a combination of all three. He missed a ton of time to start this season, plus he was working this past spring to shorten his stride. It may just be they need to slow him down, take a breather and go back to what he had been doing so he can feel some success and work from there. Despite nice results to start the season, he hasn't looked sharp and his velocity has been down. Last night's outing felt like a culmination of a lot of things that may have been building.
He went through this last year and fixed it by his next outing. He's a smart guy. Warthen knows him well. Plus, his fellow pitchers love to help with stuff like this. I trust they'll right it by next week.