9:30 pm: deGrom met with reporters (including Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News) after the game and downplayed the current issue. While he admitted he’s frustrated with the series of developments, deGrom suggested he didn’t believe the three health problems were related and, more importantly, sounded confident he’d avoided any serious injury. “I think it’s three separate issues. I think the lat was something to do with the swing. The elbow I didn’t think too much of, like I said I was pretty confident that that was nothing. And I’m pretty confident that this is nothing.” Manager Luis Rojas said deGrom’s prognosis will become clearer after he undergoes further testing tomorrow, but that the initial report was “encouraging” (via Tim Britton of the Athletic).
It’s the second consecutive start in which deGrom has been forced out prematurely. Right flexor tendinitis knocked him out of his start last Friday. deGrom didn’t sound particularly concerned after that outing, and an intervening MRI came back clean. Nevertheless, it’s certainly alarming to see the game’s best pitcher removed early due to injury in back-to-back outings. deGrom also missed a couple weeks last month due to right side tightness, so he’s now dealt with side, forearm and shoulder issues this year.
As usual, deGrom was incredible tonight before he exited. He struck out eight of nine Cubs hitters across three perfect innings. The outing dropped his ERA to an unfathomable 0.54 in 67 innings on the year.