Heading into their first playoff series in nearly a decade, the Mets are putting the baseball in the hands of Jacob deGrom, All Star, last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, and the defacto ace heading into the biggest game the Mets have played in a long time. The playoffs start with NLDS Game 1 Friday Oct. 9 at 9:30PM.
Yet those who knew him well — the Romanicks and Regans of the world, slipping notes to each other in Spring Training meetings — were not terribly surprised by an ascent that included an NL Rookie of the Year Award last November, an All-Star selection this July and, now, an NLDS Game 1 start at Dodger Stadium. The tools, they say, were already in place; deGrom just needed enough mound reps to refine his mechanics and become more consistent with his offspeed pitches, gaining velocity naturally along the way. It’s no different for most young starters, but deGrom took to the challenge as well as any Mets prospect in recent memory.