Jacob deGrom gets pulled from Rangers debut early, allows first career Opening Day ERs

·2 min read

Jacob deGrom's talent can't be denied. It's why the Texas Rangers sprung for him while chipping away at their overhauled and restructured rotation. He looked like the pitcher to deliver Rangers fans the season of their dreams.

However, Opening Day presented a different story. DeGrom's first start in a Rangers uniform came against the Philadelphia Phillies and probably didn't offer fans the excitement they expected. After he started on a high note with a strikeout, the wheels began to fall off of what was ultimately a rough debut for the veteran pitcher.

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After 3 2/3 rocky innings Thursday, deGrom was pulled after allowing six hits and five earned runs. The right-hander’s six extra-base hits allowed (three doubles, two triples and a home run) were the most he has yielded in a start in his nine-year career.

In another first, Alec Bohm became the first right-handed hitter to homer on an elevated, 99 mph fastball from deGrom when he rounded the bases in the second inning.

The 35-year-old deGrom struck out seven batters, and his ERA stands at 12.27. After allowing zero earned runs across 17 innings in his previous three Opening Day starts, deGrom's five earned runs Thursday were very uncharacteristic.

After the two-time National League Cy Young winner left the game with his club down 5-0, the Rangers were able to score nine runs in the bottom of the fourth. They came out with an 11-7 win and a 1-0 start, which marks the team's first time above .500 since Aug. 15, 2020.

DeGrom left the New York Mets after nine years to join the Rangers on a five-year, $185 million deal this offseason. Since 2019, multiple injuries have prevented the star from pitching a complete season. So far, deGrom seems to be healthy, aside from the left side tightness that delayed his first spring training appearance. But his first outing of 2023 leaves room for improvement.