WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Jacob deGrom came out throwing 100 mph on Thursday and still had a little room for improvement.
In one electrifying sequence, the Mets ace went 101, 101, 100 to Steven Souza Jr., before striking out the Astros outfielder on a slider to end the first inning. At least 10 of deGrom’s pitches for the night reached triple digits, as recorded by the stadium scoreboard.
“It just seems to be coming out good,” deGrom said after firing three perfect innings in which he struck out seven at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. “I feel ready to go. I think I have got three more [exhibition starts] and work on continuing to locate that offspeed and establish the fastball.”
His plan against the Astros was to stick with his fastball and slider. Four of his strikeouts came using the heater. The other three were with the slider.
“When I was warming up, we noticed I had a good slider, so we said, ‘Let’s mix that in a little more tonight,’ ” deGrom said. “That was kind of the plan going into tonight, mainly be fastball, slider and then as it goes on get a full mix of everything.”
It followed a start against the Astros on Saturday in which deGrom pitched two scoreless innings and allowed two base runners. He laughed Thursday when asked if he ever thought about allowing his fielders to receive work.
“Yeah, I think about it,” deGrom said.
Carlos Carrasco plans to play catch on Sunday, according to manager Luis Rojas, as he ramps up for a potential live batting-practice session later in the week.
The right-hander was shut down from throwing after encountering elbow soreness after throwing live batting practice Monday. Carrasco still has not appeared in an exhibition game, and even if he faces batters later in the week, there is question whether he will be ready to start the regular season with the club.
Rojas brought the entire starting lineup on the road for the game and was asked if it was possibly the batting order he might use on Opening Day. The manager conceded the 1-2 atop the order of Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor was probably a safe bet.