ARLINGTON — Perhaps there’s some irony in Jacob deGrom‘s first start as a Texas Ranger on Thursday. Known for getting little run support in his years with the New York Mets, deGrom got plenty from his new teammates – except they came after he was chased from the game by the Philadelphia Phillies.
DeGrom, 34, lasted just 3⅔ innings, giving up five runs on six hits, all for extra bases, including five to the opposite field. Both the extra base hits and opposite field ones were career highs given up by deGrom. It was just the fifth time in his career he allowed five earned runs.
“I’m not thrilled how I threw the ball but we got the win,” deGrom said after the 11-7 victory. “I went back and looked at some of the pitches that they hit. They did a good job of battling. Some of those were off the plate.”
Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm got to him twice, with a second inning home run and fourth inning double. It came after deGrom mowed down Philadelphia in the first inning, striking out two while throwing only 10 pitches. But then the struggles began as the Phillies started going to right field, both against deGrom’s fastball and slider. He was clocking in at 99 to 101 mph on the radar gun but not putting guys away in the second and third innings.
“I need to make an adjustment,” deGrom said. “I need to see them leaning out over and make the adjustment and go into [inside] them.”
New Rangers manager Bruce Bochy summed it up this way: “He wasn’t quite as sharp today. That’s fair to say.”
Neither was Phillies starter Aaron Nola. Staked to a 5-0 lead, the Rangers stormed back, scoring nine times in the fourth inning. Right fielder Robbie Grossman‘s three-run shot tied the score at 5 before Nola was pulled shortly thereafter.
“All I can say is baseball is back and the roller coaster of emotions is [also],” Grossman said. “I’m just glad we came away with a win.”
Grossman was asked how often its likely deGrom will pick up the offense after they picked him up on Opening Day.
“A lot, a lot,” Grossman said. “I’m just glad I don’t have to face him anymore.”
DeGrom was only scheduled to throw about 65 pitches as he was slowed at the beginning of spring training with a side issue. He made it to 73, declaring himself ready to expand his pitch count as soon as his next start. He just wants it to go better.
“I didn’t make pitches when I needed to but the most important thing is we got a win,” he said.
The victory was the first for Bochy since 2019 as the three-time winning World Series manager said he felt blessed to be back in the dugout. Putting up a crooked number after getting down 5-0 helped his mood after the game.
“Not quite like we thought the game would go with those two guys starting,” Bochy said. “It’s about picking each other up. Good comeback. Great comeback.”