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Mets’ Jacob deGrom pulled with flexor tendonitis; Nationals’ Max Scherzer exits early

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom leaves the field during the fifth inning June 11, 2021.
New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom leaves the field during the fifth inning Friday night. He was pulled after six scoreless innings with right flexor tendonitis but said he’s not concerned.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom was pulled after six scoreless innings Friday night with right flexor tendinitis, but the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner said he isn’t troubled by the diagnosis amid a historically dominant season.

DeGrom faced the minimum against the visiting San Diego Padres and had thrown just 80 pitches before being lifted. Manager Luis Rojas met with deGrom in the dugout after the sixth and shook his hand, signaling his night was done.

New York announced the elbow injury two innings later. The Mets went on to win 3-2.

DeGrom said he felt discomfort there this week but wasn’t concerned. He tore the ligament in his pitching elbow as a minor leaguer in 2010 and knows what that feels like, and he said “this didn’t feel anything like that.”

“My level of concern is not too high,” deGrom said.

The elbow began to tighten up in the sixth inning Friday, leading to the decision to pull deGrom. He underwent several tests to ensure the ligament was intact — something the 32-year-old does regularly — but those tests did not include any imaging.

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Rangers score three times in the ninth but leave the bases loaded as Kenley Jansen preserves the win.

“Whenever you say elbow anything for a pitcher, everyone gets nervous about that,” deGrom said. “But like I said, I do a lot of ligament tests on my own, and doing those, knowing what those feel like, it’s a totally different spot.”

DeGrom had a no-hitter until Wil Myers beat the shift with a weak grounder in the fifth. Myers was caught stealing by catcher James McCann a few pitches later.

He was the only runner to reach against deGrom, who struck out 10. New York has been limiting his workload since an injured list stint in May with right side tightness.

DeGrom also had a two-run single, giving him five RBIs this season, compared to four earned runs allowed.

DeGrom’s 0.56 earned-run average is the lowest ever by a pitcher through 10 starts, just ahead of Juan Marichal’s 0.59 in 1966.

Over the last two starts — both against the star-studded Padres — deGrom has thrown 13 scoreless innings, giving up four hits and a walk with 21 strikeouts.

He entered the game with 121 pitches this season thrown 100 mph or harder, and he topped that mark seven more times. No other starter had more than 10 such pitches before Friday.

DeGrom doesn’t plan to seek an MRI exam or other imaging, and he expects to proceed with his normal between-start routine and pitch the next time his rotation spot comes up.

Rojas is on board with that plan.

“I’m not concerned either, just because Jake is not,” Rojas said. “This is a guy who knows his body really well, knows his arm really well.”

DeGrom got his 100th strikeout this year when Fernando Tatis Jr. went down swinging in the fourth, reaching the mark in 61 2/3 innings — the fewest innings to reach 100 punchouts in a season since the mound was moved to 60 feet 6 inches in 1893, per ESPN.

San Diego dropped its third straight. Blake Snell (2-3) surrendered three runs in four-plus innings, and the Padres couldn’t do enough damage against New York’s bullpen.

Max Scherzer injured; Giants edge Nationals

Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer, center, stands on the mound as a trainer comes to check on him June 11, 2021.
Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, center, stands on the mound as a trainer comes to check on him in the first inning.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Washington ace Max Scherzer left after just 12 pitches with a groin injury, Buster Posey homered, and the San Francisco Giants beat the host Nationals 1-0 on Anthony DeSclafani’s career-best two-hitter.

Giants left fielder Michael Tauchman made a leaping catch to rob a home run for the second time in less than a month.

A crowd of 18,029 attended the first game at Nationals Park without capacity limits since the 2019 World Series.

Scherzer, a 36-year-old right-hander with three Cy Young Awards, retired leadoff batter LaMonte Wade Jr. on a fly ball to left and had a 3-2 count on Brandon Belt when he stretched his body, and manager Dave Martinez and director of athletic training Paul Lessard went to the mound.

Scherzer took one warmup toss before exiting. Scherzer is 5-4 with a 2.21 ERA and began the night second in the NL with 104 strikeouts.

“All of a sudden, I felt my groin tweak me,” Scherzer said. “The good news is that it is not a muscle strain. I am really day to day. I am very confident this will be very mild.”

Scherzer said an MRI exam showed only inflammation.

“It was a lot better news than I thought,” Martinez said. “We’re still not out of the woods. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

DeSclafani (6-2) struck out eight and walked one in his third career shutout and complete game. He pitched a four-hitter for Cincinnati at Arizona in August 2016 and a three-hitter against Colorado this April 26.

San Francisco pitched its major league-leading ninth shutout. The Nationals have been blanked eight times.

Tauchman leaped at the left-field wall to rob Juan Soto in the seventh. On May 28 at Dodger Stadium, Tauchman took away what would have been a game-winning home by Albert Pujols in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium, and the Giants went on to beat the Dodgers in the 10th.

“That was insane — huge catch,” DeSclafani said. “If you don’t make that, it’s a tie ballgame and I probably don’t go nine.”

Posey homered in the fourth, driving a slider from Paolo Espino (0-2) into the Giants’ bullpen in left for his 11th homer this season.

Posey, who opted out of the 2020 season during the pandemic, already has more homers than he did in both 2018 and 2019. His career high is 24 homers, which he set in 2012 when he was voted MVP.


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