Jacob deGrom said Wednesday that he will not be attending the All-Star Game at Coors Field so he can spend time with his family and rest for the second half.
“I’ve thought about it and obviously being named to an All-Star Game is a great honor but I’m just going to take that time and spend it with my family and get healthy for the second half,” the New York Mets‘ ace said after he pitched seven innings in a no-decision Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
DeGrom, who was the first-place Mets’ lone All-Star selection, lobbied for teammate Taijuan Walker to take his place in the game.
“He’s 100 percent deserving to go,” deGrom said of Walker, who is 7-3 with a 2.44 ERA in his first season with the Mets.
DeGrom’s ERA rose to 1.08 after he allowed two solo home runs against the Brewers on Wednesday. He struck out 10 and reached the 1,500 strikeout milestone for his career during the outing. He is the second-fastest to reach 1,500 career strikeouts in major league history, doing so in his 198th career game, one behind Yu Darvish, who reached the milestone in his 197th game earlier this season. DeGrom also now leads the major leagues with 146 strikeouts.
If deGrom does not pitch again before the All-Star break, his 1.08 ERA will be the second-lowest ERA at the All-Star break since it was first contested in 1933 (minimum 10 starts), according to ESPN Stats & Information. Bob Gibson had a 1.06 ERA at the All-Star break in 1968, the year he won MVP and finished with a 1.12 ERA.
DeGrom (7-2), asked if he feels a responsibility to represent the National League in Colorado after his dominant first half, said he thought about that but he didn’t “think it’s beneficial for me to fly back to Colorado and back.”
He was set to take the loss on Sunday before Jose Peraza hit a pinch-hit home run off the Brewers’ Josh Hader in the bottom of the seventh, the closer’s first blown save of the season after converting his first 20 chances. The Mets rallied again in the eighth inning for a 4-3 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.
DeGrom was scheduled to pitch Tuesday night and again Sunday but his start Tuesday was rained out, pushing him to Wednesday’s start. It’s unclear if deGrom will still make the start on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates on short rest. The right-hander said it’s possible he could pitch but that decision will be evaluated during the week.
Regardless if he starts or not, deGrom said it’s best for himself and the Mets that he bow out of the All-Star Game.
“It’s best for me and this team for me to not go and rest for the second half,” he said.