Terry Collins doesn’t handle his young pitching staff with kid gloves. He expects them to figure out some issues on their own. So when Jacob deGrom had a less than stellar outing Saturday in the Mets’ 5-4 victory over the Brewers, Collins didn’t provide an alibi.
DeGrom essentially had two pitching lines. On the positive side, he struck out seven and got his fastball into the mid-90s. But he walked three, allowed four earned runs in five innings and left with the Mets trailing 4-2. He wound up with a no-decision and his earned run average climbed to 3.07.
Asked about deGrom’s ability to correct his own problems, Collins said: “They all should self-adjust. I’ve always said for a long time, how many times does a pitching coach have to go to the mound and say something to you? Once in a while, you can take 10 seconds to step off the mound and say, ‘You know, I’ve been here before and I need to do this or I need to do that’ and get back in sync.
“It’s easier said than done, and today Jake for some reason just didn’t have the feel for making the pitches that he wanted to make. Therefore, he had a high pitch count .’’
DeGrom’s cubicle is between those of Matt Harvey and Steven Matz. He knows the expectations that have been placed on the starting rotation but said he does not pay any attention to that.
“Honestly, it doesn’t weigh on me at all,’’ he said. “That’s my last thought when I go out there is what other people are thinking of me. I’m going out there to battle with my teammates and I’m going out there to try to put up zeros so that we can get a win as a team. You don’t try to live up to the expectations of other people. This is a long season. What have I made, [seven] starts? I think I’ve got 20-something more, so we’ll be all right.’’
DeGrom had two strikeouts in the second inning but also allowed a two-run home run by Ramon Flores, the outfielder’s first in the big leagues. “I was trying to go more in,’’ deGrom said of the 1-and-1 pitch. “That ball was up, just ran over the middle. He got to it.’’
In the fourth, Aaron Hill walked, moved to third on a single by Alex Presley and scored on a sacrifice fly by Flores. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Presley scored on Jonathan Villar’s single to left-centerfield.
“I felt like my stuff was really good; I just had a hard time locating,’’ deGrom said. “We’ve been working on some things. [I] felt like they’re getting better . . . You’d like to go out there and pitch a little more than five innings and give up four runs, but it’s part of the battling back.’’
DeGrom was in the clubhouse when David Wright singled home the winning run in the ninth inning. He was more excited about that than annoyed at his day on the mound.
“Everybody’s rooting for him; great guy to be around,’’ deGrom said. “I learned a lot from him.’’