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Mets' Jacob deGrom induced plenty of whiffs in his first start

Set to make the start in the team's home opener today, last year's Rookie of the Year made the Nationals swing and miss a bunch in his season debut.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, Jacob deGrom will make his second start of his sophomore campaign. He made his first on Wednesday night in Washington, D.C., and it mostly went well: six innings, two runs, six strikeouts, and two walks. By the standards he set last year, that sort of line doesn't jump off the page, but it was still a good start. What was particularly encouraging about the start in Washington was that deGrom generated a bunch of swings-and-misses.

deGrom threw 92 pitches in the start, and the Nationals swung and missed 12 times. That's a 13.0 percent swinging strike rate, which is excellent. For reference, the major league average last year was 9.4 percent, and deGrom finished last season at 11.7 percent. And he got swinging strikes with his four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, changeup, and slider. Here's a plot of the whiffs from Baseball Savant.

There's nothing specifically notable about the pitch that shows up as an outlined box above. That just means the original chart links to an video. That one was a swing-and-miss by Bryce Harper, and it's included in a slightly longer clip here:

It's just one start, but it was a good one, and deGrom's chances of matching his results from last year are better if he keeps getting opponents to swing and miss. Here's hoping he does plenty more of that today in Queens.