Monday’s Braves and Mets game confirmed hitters’ worst nightmare: Jacob deGrom isn’t using anything illegal — he is just that good.
Major League Baseball announced it would be enhancing its enforcement of the rules regarding pitches substances and provide a uniform standard for the league. Monday was the first day that umpires were instructed to check for the use of foreign substances by pitchers. Starters were inspected for “sticky stuff” more than once per game, and relievers were checked either at the end of an inning or when they were removed from the game.
Atlanta and New York played the first MLB game of the day, so, after the first inning, when deGrom walked off the field after retiring the side, he became the first pitcher to be checked for illegal gunk this year, SI.com reports.
The Mets ace wasn’t worried though. As the umps checked him out, he just smiled and laughed it off.
“What all do you guys need?” deGrom recalled asking the umps.
“Glove, hat and belt,” they told him, and he complied, SI.com reports.
“I handed them that stuff and went along my way,” he said.
deGrom allowed one hit and no runs over five innings of work, with six strikeouts and two walks. The ace has not allowed more than one run in any of his 12 starts this season.