MLB News: 'Nervous' Jacob deGrom Shares His Thoughts On Season Debut

Jacob deGrom
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Ernesto Cova

The wait is over. Jacob deGrom is back for the New York Mets after a long spell on the sidelines, and it seems like he hasn't missed a beat over the past 13 months.

deGrom picked up things where he left them before his injury, throwing five innings of one-run ball against the Washington Nationals with six strikeouts, zero walks, and a fastball that topped 102 mph.

He Was Nervous

Jacob deGrom
Giphy | New York Mets

deGrom was on a pitch count, so he couldn't stay long and help his team avoid a 5-1 loss. Still, he was grateful for finally coming back after such a long layoff:

“I definitely had some nerves early on, but it’s been a year since I’ve been out there -- a year-plus,” deGrom said. “It was definitely exciting to be back out there. It’s been a long time. To go out there and pitch and be healthy, that’s the reward. That was definitely a good step.”

That's What He Does

Jacob deGrom
Wikimedia | TaurusEmerald

Not many players are as sharp as ever after one year on the shelf. However, Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner wasn't surprised by deGrom's poise, control, and speed in his first start back:

“It’s what I expect of him,” Hefner said. “And I think that’s reasonable of me to expect that of him. He’s the greatest pitcher, arguably, of our generation.”

It's Been A Tough Road

Jacob deGrom
Wikimedia | SauseyKid

Hefner also lauded deGrom's work ethic and determination over the past year or so. Being away from the game for so long could take a toll on anyone, yet he was 100% focused on getting back to full strength and being even better once he got back to the mound:

“He’s had to work really hard over the last 13 months to put himself in the position,” Hefner said. “He’s diagnosed mechanics. We’ve run through the gamut with him, trying to make sure that he gets to do the things he wants to do in his career and also help us win a World Series. That was kind of the first step in this.”

deGromination Is Back

Jacob deGrom
Wikimedia | 唐貴台湾棒球好開示

Even though his team took the loss, watching deGrom on the mound again was nothing short of a show. Even his colleagues and own staff were in awe after his five-inning performance:

“I don’t really know how to describe it,” Hefner said. “When he’s on the mound, it’s always a comforting feeling, because he has the ability just to completely shut down a lineup.”

The best is back, and the Mets continue to roll. It seems like we're set for a postseason for the ages.