Jacob deGrom's Opening Day start with the Texas Rangers, his first since joining the team as a free agent over the winter, did not go according to plan. Rather, he failed to make it through four innings against a familiar foe from his days with the New York Mets: the reigning National League champion Philadelphia Phillies.
deGrom lasted just 3 2/3 innings on Thursday, surrendering five runs on six hits and no walks. He struck out seven batters on 73 pitches, though he did commit a pitch-timer violation. He also gave up six extra-base hits, the most he'd ever allowed in a big-league start.
The Phillies 6 extra base hits are the most Jacob deGrom has allowed in a start in his career— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) March 30, 2023
His day is done wow
deGrom's 36 Game Score ranks as the second-worst start he's had since the beginning of the 2020 season. A start deGrom made last September against the Oakland Athletics, when he allowed five runs in four innings on six hits and four walks, is the only one of his 38 starts from 2020-22 that ranks worse.
The Phillies were a single away from hitting for the team cycle against deGrom. Nicholas Castellanos, J.T. Realmuto, and Alec Bohm all recorded doubles; Trea Turner and Brandon Marsh notched triples; and Bohm also had a home run.
For those wondering, deGrom's arm strength was very much on display. He averaged 98.5 mph on his heater, just slightly down from last year's average, according to Statcast. His fastest pitch of the afternoon clocked in at 101 mph. He generated 10 swinging strikes overall: half on his fastball, half on his signature slider. From that point of view, the Rangers can only hope that deGrom's next start -- projected to come against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, April 5 -- goes better than his first did.
Over the offseason, deGrom signed a five-year pact worth $185 million with the Rangers. Texas added several other veterans to their rotation, including Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney. They also retained lefty Martín Pérez.