Jacob deGrom will be back on the mound Sunday in Philadelphia.
DeGrom and the New York Mets will square off against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday in the finale of what will turn out to be a two-game series. Saturday’s game was called off because of rain and rescheduled as part of a doubleheader Aug. 16.
The Phillies had not announced their Sunday starter as of Saturday night, but it will be Zach Eflin or Aaron Nola (5-1, 2.05). Eflin was scheduled to pitch Saturday and Nola was Sunday’s probable starter.
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DeGrom (3-0, 1.87 ERA) was held out of his last start as a precaution after he hyperextended his right elbow while taking a swing against the Braves on May 2. He threw a simulated game Tuesday and a bullpen session Friday without any issues. DeGrom will be activated off the 10-day disabled list before Sunday’s outing.
“You can skip one, make sure everything’s fine,” deGrom told MLB.com about the decision to pass on his previous turn in the rotation. “So after talking to them, I understand the decision. … If I went out there and was fine, then everything’s good. But if something did happen, we’d be like, ‘Why didn’t I just take one’?”
DeGrom was great on the mound this season prior to the injury. He enters Sunday with a 0.99 WHIP and 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings rate on the season. DeGrom also carries an 18 1/3 scoreless inning streak into the start as he last surrendered a run April 16 against the Washington Nationals.
DeGrom is historically successful against the Phillies. In 11 career starts against them, the 29-year-old is 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA and has limited the Phillies to a .575 OPS in 68 innings.
If the Phillies go with Nola on Sunday, he’ll be coming off one of the best starts in a Phillies uniform. The 24-year-old right-hander had a career-best 12 strikeouts against the Giants on Tuesday. He allowed one run on five hits over seven innings and 109 pitches.
“It’s the poise, it’s the confidence in any situation, and with Noles, it seems like he just gets stronger and stronger as the game goes on,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after Nola’s last start. “If it wasn’t for the pitch count, you really feel like you could send him back out there and he’d be fine to finish that game. He was that strong. He stood that tall on the mound.”
Eflin, meanwhile, has a 0.71 ERA in two major league starts this season. He registered nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Giants during his last start. Eflin is 0-2 with a 4.41 ERA against the Mets in his career.
The Mets are 3-0 against the Phillies this season, and New York has been dominant in Philadelphia over the last handful of years. The Mets are 41-17 in their last 58 games at Citizens Bank Park — including a 3-1 victory Friday — and are 41-19 overall against the Phillies since 2015.
The Phillies, on the other hand, have struggled against their own division in 2018. They are 7-14 against the National League East this year and 15-2 against everyone else.