MLB: Jacob deGrom had his worst inning; then retired 18 in a row with 14 strikeouts

Call to Jacob deGrom however you want: an early riser, an entrepreneur or just a guy who is frankly punctual. Despite how great it has been the favorite of the Cy young All in all this season, he has increased his dominance to historic proportions in the first inning.

But after his starting box went unusually bad at Truist Park Thursday, deGrom launched an epic recovery effort, striking out 14, including eight straight at one point, in seven innings. The New York Mets They also rallied to force a ninth-inning draw, thanks to Dom Smith’s second home run of the night, but came up short in the rubber game against the Atlanta Braves, 4-3:

Going into the night, opponents were 1 of 39 (.026) against deGrom in the first inning, which marked the lowest average opponents in a season on record (minimum 40 batters faced). He had also thrown out 37 in a row in the opening draw, but the Braves obviously weren’t interested in increasing that total.

An opening triple gave way to an RBI single and a two-run homer, and suddenly deGrom had allowed three runs in the first. That’s more runs than he had allowed in one inning since Sept. 16, 2020. Oh, and that’s more earned runs than he had allowed at any start to this season.

As the inning ended, the Mets ace spoke quickly in the dugout with catcher James McCann before slapping his glove on the bench. The second inning didn’t start much better, as the first two batters reached with a double and a single. But that’s where the fun ended for Atlanta, when deGrom began to dominate.

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A laser-focused, poker-faced deGrom retired 18 consecutive batters from there, with 12 strikeouts in that span. His 14 strikeouts on the night were one short of his season high, and his 27 whiffs were the most since he hit 29 on April 23.