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#pounditSaturday, May 8, 2021

Mets manager admits to trying to pad Jacob deGrom’s stats

Jacob deGrom

If nothing else, you have to give Mickey Callaway credit for his honesty.

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom threw a gem on Tuesday, going 8.1 innings, striking out 10 batters, and allowing just two earned runs in a 10-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. Callaway, the Mets manager, pulled deGrom in the ninth inning and inserted reliever Robert Gsellman to get the final two outs.

After the game, Callaway was asked why he went with the veteran Gsellman instead of putting in young reliever Stephen Nogosek in what appeared to be a prime spot with an eight-run lead. Callaway essentially admitted that he was trying to pad deGrom’s stats, reasoning that he did not want any inherited runners to go on the star righty’s stat line, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

True, Gsellman was the more seasoned, reliable option, and even if deGrom exited the game without any runners on base, Callaway probably had already made the decision to warm up Gsellman over Nogosek. But giving one of your top bullpen arms an unnecessary day of work for the purposes of preserving an individual stat line is an interesting strategy to say the least.

After posting the best ERA in baseball last season (1.70), deGrom hasn’t been particularly close to replicating that feat this year with a 3.38 ERA in 14 starts before Tuesday. Still, he has to appreciate Callaway’s efforts, especially in a season where the skipper has taken major heat for his pitching decisions.

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