Monday newsletter time: Jacob deGrom in rare strikeout-walk company
(AP photo/Sam Hodde)
ARLINGTON — Jacob deGrom has started five games so far this season and struck out 43 batters in 26 2/3 innings.
Just as impressive, and perhaps more so to some, is that he has walked only three.
A pitcher notching 43 strikeouts and three walks in a his first five starts of a season has been done only six times since 1901.
Here’s the catch: DeGrom has the last two instances.
He did it last season with 46 Ks and three walks. The others are Corbin Burnes (49-3) and Gerrit Cole (50-3) in 2021, Johan Santana (45-3) in 2005 and Curt Schilling (50-3) in 2001. Moreover, deGrom is the first to do it in his first season with a new team.
As if things weren’t already difficult enough against deGrom, he simply doesn’t beat himself. He struck out 11 and didn’t walk anyone Sunday over six innings in a 5-2 win over Oakland.
The A’s, as overmatched as they were, did capitalize on a few instances when deGrom wasn’t perfect. He fell into 3-1 counts against two hitters, and they both collected singles. One of those was in the same inning that deGrom hung a slider to Shea Langeliers, who deposited it into the second deck in left field.
“I was pretty frustrated,” deGrom said. “I felt like I made a lot of good pitches and then leave one over the middle and it gets hit really hard. That frustrated me.”
He responded with five straight strikeouts.
And no walks.
TCU-ex on tap
The Rangers packed up Sunday night and jetted off to Cincinnati, where they are scheduled to begin a three-game series tonight.
The Reds aren’t very good at 7-15 and in last place in the National League Central, but they have a young trio of starting pitchers who are cause for optimism.
One of them, left-hander Nick Lodolo, starts tonight. That name might sound familiar to those who are dialed in to the local sports scene.
Lodolo pitched three seasons at TCU, where he picked up all kinds of All-Big 12 and All-America accolades before the Reds selected him with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 draft.
He made his MLB debut last season, posting a 3.66 ERA over 19 starts. He’ll take a 4.98 ERA into his sixth start of the season, along with 31 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings.
Two A’s left-handers made things relatively difficult on the Rangers over the weekend, and Lodolo is capable of doing the same. He doesn’t throw particularly hard, but he has good extension and throws from a lower arm slot to make his fastball difficult to hit.
The Rangers crammed a lot of news and excitement into three games over the weekend at Globe Life Field. They crammed a lot of fans into the seats Sunday, with 34,916 in attendance after 28,775 on Friday and 32,388 on Saturday. The Grand Slam team store was awfully busy, too, with City Connect items flying off the shelves. Rangers Today was there (subscribe here) for all three contests. Here’s our latest in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: What a relief
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Very important lesson here. Enjoy.
Teaching the little one how to play with a ball pic.twitter.com/xm4hRviDrc
— Madeyousmile (@Thund3rB0lt) April 22, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com