DeGrom, attempting to stop a seven-game losing streak, shut out the Brewers on Thursday en route to a 2-0 victory. The right-hander struck out seven over eight scoreless innings, allowing just four hits in the effort.
A win wasn't a given -- the Mets had scored two or fewer runs in six of their seven straight losses, and they scored two runs again Thursday -- but maybe it should have been. DeGrom has been nearly unhittable this season, allowing just 75 hits in 100 1/3 innings and owning a 0.93 WHIP, 2.15 ERA and 100/18 K/BB ratio through 15 starts.
“His last six or seven starts have been outstanding,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He’s the guy we saw last year and he is legit and he’s not going through any sophomore slump. He’s still making the adjustments he needs to make and making pitches.”
Collins made reference to it, but it's hard to remember that questions existed about deGrom heading into the season. The 27-year-old came out of nowhere last year to win National League Rookie of the Year honors, finishing 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 140 1/3 innings. Whether that performance was for real -- deGrom was the same guy who had a 4.51 ERA in 26 minor league starts in 2013, after all -- was debated by fantasy experts and baseball analysts all winter.
He's had little trouble continuing that success in 2015. DeGrom has gone at least seven innings with two earned runs or fewer allowed in each of his last seven starts, striking out 57 batters in those starts. The Mets have gone 13-19 in that stretch; deGrom is 5-2 in the same span.
Any questions about his legitimacy, like the Mets' losing streak, are long gone.
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Lynn Returns In Style
Lance Lynn showed no ill effects of his right forearm strain on Thursday.
The right-hander, who was activated from the disabled list prior to Thursday's start, tossed six shutout innings as the Cardinals swept the Marlins with a 5-1 win. Lynn struck out six while allowing just two hits and walking four.
"To go up there and to walk four and not give up any runs is a good feeling and I was able to move the ball in and out and had good movement on all the pitches," Lynn said after the game. "I was able to mix it up when I needed to so that was good."
It was a reassuring return after Lynn was forced to the disabled list on June 12 with the strain. The 28-year-old missed just two starts. The Cardinals returned Tyler Lyons to Triple-A before Lynn's return, suggesting they're comfortable with Lynn's ability to start every fifth day moving forward.
Injury aside, it has been another strong season for Lynn. Through Thursday's start, he is 5-4 with a 2.84 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 83/27 K/BB ratio over 79 1/3 innings.
Matz, Meyer Get The Call
In a year in which a number of top prospects have already made major league contributions, two more are getting the call this weekend.
Mets left-hander Steven Matz and Twins right-hander Alex Meyer are both en route to the majors after appearing on top-100 prospect lists prior to the season. Meyer will join the Twins before their weekend series against the Brewers, while Matz is expected to make his big league debut in a start Sunday against the Reds. Mets manager Terry Collins would say only that he would have an announcement regarding the rotation on Friday.
Matz, 24, was ranked as high as No. 33 on lists heading into 2015 after posting a 2.25 ERA with 131 strikeouts in 140 innings between High-A and Double-A last season. This year, the southpaw has continued to pitch well, owning a 2.19 ERA and 94/31 K/BB ratio over 90 1/3 innings at Triple-A Las Vegas.
The Mets recently got rid of a sixth starter when they demoted Dillon Gee, so it's unclear what their plan is for Matz. But with Harvey returning from Tommy John surgery, deGrom not having thrown more than 180 innings in a single season and Noah Syndergaard also making his MLB debut earlier in the year, a six-man rotation could help manage workloads across the board.
Meyer's workload won't be an issue after he was moved to the bullpen last month. Formerly a starter, Meyer owns a 0.53 ERA and 20/6 K/BB ratio over nine relief appearances since moving to the pen. Meyer had a 41/24 K/BB ratio over 47 1/3 innings as a starter.
Meyer obviously has little fantasy value, but Matz is a viable flyer in mixed leagues. Pitching-needy fantasy owners take note.
National League Quick Hits: Bryce Harper sat out Thursday due to a leg cramp sustained Wednesday. It's not the kind of ailment that is likely to linger ... Freddie Freeman received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in his wrist Thursday in hopes it will speed up the healing process ... Yasiel Puig was a late scratch Thursday as his left hand continues to bother him. Puig is dealing with an open callus on the palm of the hand ... The Mets, sitting at .500 after their hot start, have discussed dealing for A's infielder Ben Zobrist ... Kris Bryant left Thursday's game after one at-bat, but there's no cause for concern. The phenom was simply dealing with flu-like symptoms and should be fine in a day or two ... The Cardinals are confident Michael Wacha can be a 200-inning pitcher for the first time in his career ... Jorge De La Rosa left Thursday's start after five innings with a finger injury. The lefty allowed one run over five innings before departing but didn't factor in the decision ... Brandon Phillips (thumb) returned to the Reds lineup Thursday. Phillips sat out Wednesday with the jammed thumb but batted leadoff against the Pirates, collecting an RBI triple and scoring a run ... Dexter Fowler missed another start due to his sprained left ankle. Like Wednesday, Fowler was able to make a pinch-hitting appearance despite not starting ... After struggling in his return from the DL, Doug Fister dominated the Braves on Thursday. The right-hander allowed four hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings to earn his first win since returning from the disabled list.
American League Quick Hits: Dallas Keuchel remains one of the most underappreciated starters in the game, tossing a complete-game shutout against the Yankees on Thursday. The lefty struck out 12 to move to 9-3 with a 2.17 ERA and 0.96 WHIP on the year ... Dustin Pedroia landed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a hamstring strain. The second baseman is expected to need roughly three weeks to recover ... The Astros are said to be interested in acquiring Jeff Samardzija in the event the White Sox become sellers before the deadline ... Adam Jones missed yet another game with an ailing shoulder. He hopes to be back Friday for the start of the weekend series ... The Red Sox promoted Jackie Bradley Jr. with Hanley Ramirez (hand) ailing. Ramirez sat out Thursday after taking a line drive off his left hand in Wednesday's game ... Joe Kelly, after struggling to a 5.67 ERA, was demoted to Triple-A by the Red Sox. Justin Masterson will get the first shot to win Kelly's vacated starting job.