Jacob deGrom still has to wait for that first win

By Rich Mancuso

Jacob deGrom will wait again for his first win as a big league pitcher. Sometimes that first win is the tough one to get, and the New York Mets right-hander will get another opportunity at it in his next start. Wednesday night at Citi Field it was the offense again that failed to help as the Mets dropped the second of a three-game series to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1.

There is every indication that deGrom is a part of this Mets future when it comes to the young pitching that appears promising. In his sixth start, he gave up nine hits, a career high, but a 3.44 ERA reflects what he has been capable of doing.

“One of these days we are going to get that big hit for him and he'll get that win," commented manager Terry Collins.  The issue of course for deGrom, and every Mets’ starter is the lack of run support. Collins has a team that leads the National league in walks and they get runners on base, but the statistic that stands out:

They are last in getting those runs home and that takes away from a pitching staff that has been doing a good job.  Give or take, and not account for a bullpen that has struggled to keep the lead, Mets starters could have a higher percentage of wins.

 DeGrom has become a victim of that anemic Mets offense, one that appeared to break through Tuesday evening with home runs from Daniel Murphy and the grand slam from Taylor Teagarden in a Mets opening series win over the Brewers that snapped a six-game losing streak. He is also just the second pitcher in Mets history to pitch at least five innings in each of his first five big league games, without recording a win in any of them.

 But Wednesday night there were no home runs, and two of the five Mets hits came off the bat of Curtis Granderson.

So, the rookie pitcher is quickly learning and getting an early lesson about pitching in hard luck. In their last 21 games, as a team, the Mets are batting .175 with runners in scoring position. He has kept the Mets in games, but in the end winning is everything.

"My job's to keep us in the games," deGrom said after his latest outing of 5/2-3 innings and three runs.  "I feel like the wins will take care of themselves. I feel like it'll happen soon."

It was the Mets’ major league leading 23rd loss of two runs or less. As a team they are hitting .233, so it is easy to understand how one can feel for deGrom.  The question is when will it get better? Collins, who got a vote of confidence Tuesday from the GM, Sandy Alderson, is still looking for answers.

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