Route 9-2 stressed Syndergaard's feud with the club hierarchy over his decision to pair him with catcher Wilson Ramos. He made it clear that he prefers Tomas Nido, who is a less offensive threat than Ramos, but more adept at planning attacks and dealing with Syndergaard's sinker and two-seater fastball in the lower half of the attack zone.
The Mets listened and then rejected Syndergaard's appeal to his favorite catcher. The result was not pretty: forced to work with Ramos again, he was charged with four races in five innings, including a three-race home run for rookie Gavin Lux on a 3-2 turn in the fourth round that spun without a break. . It was Syndergaard's worst argument on a forgettable night.
This put deGrom in a difficult situation to make or break the following night against Hyun-Jin Ryu, who overcame Kershaw as the Dodger star and was the NL's initial pitcher for the All-Star Game. And just as the Mets expected, deGrom approached the occasion: he combined Ryu inning for inning, zero by zero, averaging 160 km per hour with his two-seater ball, 93.7 m.p.h. with its slider and, most devastatingly, its change at 92 m.p.h.
The three throws together are poisonous to right-handed hitters: the two-seater runs into his hands. The slider squeaks in the outer corner. And the change, perfectly disguised as a fastball, slows to eight to eight kilometers per hour slower when it leaves the attack zone. DeGrom played 12 times only in the seventh inning; Not once did the Dodgers hit the target.
"It looks like a fastball except not," Bellinger said, shaking his head. "I mean, there's not much you can do against things like that except do your best. Obviously, the guy is a great pitcher; all you can do is try to compete."
DeGrom says his move has always been his second best shot, set by the scorching speed of his fastball. Even on nights when the change seems out of sync, deGrom says, “I try to show the hitters just to keep them deep in their minds. Sooner or later this happens.
Disarming hitters with these three weapons – fastball, slider, changeup – is exactly how Pedro Martinez dominated in the late 1990s. And, like the Red Sox ace, deGrom has the advantage of long arms, "and a whiplike action in its delivery, "said manager Mickey Callaway.