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Jacob deGrom shows frustration when Mets use shift

Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom looks up at

Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom looks up at the scoreboard as he walks to the dugout after the top of the sixth inning against the Cardinals at Citi Field on Thursday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Jacob deGrom doesn’t often let his emotions get the best of him publicly, even when the Mets’ lineup or bullpen regularly lets him down.

But hurling his glove against the dugout wall certainly qualifies under that heading.

The Mets’ hard-luck ace lasted seven innings in the Mets’ 4-4 suspended game Thursday night against the Cardinals, but deGrom clearly was peeved about the first of two runs he allowed during his stint on an infield hit against the shift in the third.

“You make a pitch and you feel like it’s an out and you look back and nobody’s there. I was frustrated. I think anybody would be,“ deGrom said after the game was suspended in the ninth inning until Friday because of heavy rain. “The goal is to not give up runs, you feel like you make a pitch and it finds a hole, it’s frustrating.”

The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner gave up a double with one out in the third inning to Harrison Bader, who stole third base with St. Louis pitcher Jack Flaherty at the plate. With lefty-swinging Matt Carpenter batting, the Mets shifted Amed Rosario behind second base. Carpenter hit a slow dribbler toward the shortstop hole to drive in the game’s first run, and deGrom was visibly angry after closing out the inning.

“You let him blow off steam. Guys get [ticked off] all the time and I don’t blame them,” Mickey Callaway said. “It’s tough when you give up a run and the ball doesn’t leave the infield. We just need to keep him at second and we need to do a better job with that. That’s the bottom line, if he’s not at third, then he doesn’t score.  

“I understand his frustration, but he pitched a heck of a game. Competitors like him, they’re going to get frustrated and sometimes they’re going to show it. That’s fine. I think it’s good as long as you don’t let it affect you for the rest of that game. I think it kind of motivated him to keep the game where it was at. He pitched one of his best games all year.”

Indeed, deGrom tossed a season-high 116 pitches, with the Cardinals’ other run coming on Paul DeJong’s homer in the sixth. He departed after seven innings with the Mets ahead 4-2, but closer Edwin Diaz blew the save by allowing two runs in the ninth.

In Carpenter’s subsequent at-bat in the sixth, Callaway played the infield straight up defensively, and deGrom struck him out, one of his eight for the game.

“I didn’t implement it. I honestly don’t look back that much at where the infielders are,” deGrom said. “So I think that was part of the frustration. I thought I was out of the inning. And then I honestly didn’t know they didn’t shift the next time up…You just feel like you battled a good hitter and kind of beat him on a pitch and it found a hole.”

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