New York Mets star Jacob deGrom was among the first pitchers to get checked for grip-enhancing substances as Major League Baseball’s directive went into effect Monday.
DeGrom, with a smile on his face, undid his belt and handed over his glove and cap for the umpires to unsurprisingly find nothing in there.
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“I said, ‘What all do you guys need?’ ‘Glove, hat and belt,’ they said. I handed them that stuff and then went along my way,” he said.
“Honestly, I didn’t mind it. It was quick and it went pretty easy.”
MLB last week put out a memo threatening a suspension for players caught with any kind of foreign substance and gave umpires broad discretion in when they can inspect a player if they suspect they have some kind of substance on them.
DeGrom was dominant in his first start since a shoulder injury scare. He allowed one hit in five innings. He struck out six Atlanta Braves batters in the process. New York won the game, 4-2. He did not give up a run.
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DeGrom passed Hall of Famer Bob Gibson with his 12th consecutive start of one or zero earned runs, according to MLB.com. It’s the longest streak by a starting pitcher since earned runs were being tallied.
“That’s kind of the goal. I have a set routine that I stay with and try to stay consistent in between and take it out on the field. It’s a pretty boring answer, but honestly that’s how I take the mound — it’s one pitch at a time, and once the ball leaves your hand, it’s out of your control,” he said.
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DeGrom has a major-league-leading 0.50 ERA along with 117 strikeouts. He is certainly on pace for his third Cy Young Award in four years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.