WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In the first 2 1⁄3 innings against the Nationals on Thursday, Jacob deGrom walked two, threw a wild pitch and allowed a home run.
The number of games last season in which he walked two, threw a wild pitch and allowed a home run? Zero.
But as the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner reminded us after his three-inning stint in the Mets’ 6-4 loss at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches: “These games don’t count.”
DeGrom’s final line in his third spring training start included two hits, two runs, two walks and four strikeouts. His spring training ERA is 3.86.
DeGrom said he was most annoyed by a four-pitch walk to Adam Eaton in the first inning. Eaton also homered to the opposite field on a 3-and-2 changeup in the third.
DeGrom was making his second start with Wilson Ramos behind the plate instead of Devin Mesoraco, who meshed so well with deGrom in 2018.
“I think we’re still working on things,” deGrom said. “Still a little more of a learning process . . . He’s new. He’s got to get used to what we like to do. He’s done a good job asking us what we want to do. I think it’s just getting in game situations and really figuring out, seeing my game plan and my approach.”
Asked how important his relationship is with his catchers, deGrom said: “It’s important. You want to trust what they’re putting down.”
Ramos expressed no concern about his ability to foster a good working relationship with deGrom.
“He’s the No. 1 in the rotation,” he said. “I’m the everyday catcher. We’ve got a good relationship. It’s very important for us.”
Tebow gets hit, leaves after getting hit. Tim Tebow went 1-for-3 with an RBI single as the DH. With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, Nationals manager Dave Martinez brought in lefthander Matt Grace to face Tebow, who grounded a sharp run-scoring single to center. It would have been a two-run single, but J.D. Davis was thrown out trying to go to third before the second run scored.
Tebow left the game for a pinch runner after he was hit by a pitch in the left foot in the eighth.
“We just got him out because we didn’t want him to run on it,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “He looked fine walking off the field. He wasn’t limping or anything.”