Even under the Florida sun in February, Jacob deGrom expects a lot from himself.
So after giving up a leadoff double to Tony Kemp — the first batter deGrom faced in spring training — the NL Cy Young Award winner wasn’t happy.
“I was a little bit frustrated today,” the New York Mets ace said Sunday. “I felt like I made a pretty good pitch to Kemp there, a high fastball that he got to. That’s frustrating. But it’s constantly learning to try and let that stuff go.”
DeGrom gave up an RBI single to Tyler White on a 97 mph fastball later in the first inning of a 10-1 loss to a split squad of Houston Astros.
A year after posting a 1.70 ERA, deGrom exited his exhibition debut with a 9.00 ERA.
“Still plenty of time to hopefully get that down,” he said with a few laughs.
DeGrom threw 14 of his 17 pitches for strikes. New catcher Wilson Ramos caught deGrom for just the second time this spring.
“It’s an exciting moment for me because I’m trying to know him better,” Ramos said. “In the beginning of spring training, everybody wants to attack the hitter. He did it today and did it very well.”
Ramos had two hits. Kemp added a two-run triple and Michael Brantley went 1 for 3 in his Houston debut.
AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES
ASTROS (SS) 5, BRAVES 2
Josh Reddick doubled and scored for Houston’s split squad. Framber Valdez, vying for a rotation spot, got the start for the Astros, pitching two shutout innings.
Mike Foltynewicz started for Atlanta, allowing an unearned run in two innings. Pedro Florimon hit a solo home run.
NATIONALS 12, CARDINALS 2
Paul Goldschmidt was hitless in two at-bats in his first game for St. Louis. Brian Dozier singled and walked in his Washington debut.
Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, whose season was cut short in June last year by an oblique injury, gave up one run in two innings.
YANKEES 8, RAYS 5
Luke Voit had a three-run homer and an RBI single for New York. Jonathan Loaisiga, a top Yankees pitching prospect, allowed only a walk in a two-inning start.
Willy Adames and newcomer Mike Zunino hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth for Tampa Bay and Austin Meadows added a solo drive in the inning.
RED SOX 8, TWINS 5
Jackie Bradley Jr. homered in his first at-bat of the spring for Boston. Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis hit a three-run homer for the second straight day.
Max Kepler hit two solo home runs for Minnesota.
ORIOLES 9, BLUE JAYS 8
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the No. 1 prospect in baseball at age 19, had an RBI single and scored for Toronto. Cavan Biggio, son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, also went 1 for 3. Bo Bichette, the Blue Jays’ No. 2 prospect and the son of former Rockies outfielder Dante Bichette, singled and scored.
Trey Mancini had two singles, scoring a run for Baltimore. Chris Davis struck out twice in his first spring action after a poor season at the plate.
PHILLIES 10, TIGERS 6
Detroit star Miguel Cabrera singled and walked in his first action since tearing his biceps last Sunday.
Nick Williams and Drew Butera hit three-run homers for Philadelphia. Scott Kingery had two hits and scored twice.
PIRATES 10, MARLINS 6
Top prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes hit two home runs, including a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth for Pittsburgh. Lonnie Chisenhall doubled and scored.
Miami outfield prospect Victor Victor Mesa strained his right hamstring beating out a double-play relay. The 22-year-old Mesa, who signed a $5.25 million bonus last October, had not played in a game in nearly two years following his defection from Cuba.