The language he used to describe his pitches sounded like hyperbole: words like terrible and garbage, plus O.K.
The changeup was terrible, he said, the slider inconsistent to the point where at times it was not even close to the strike zone, and he was having trouble commanding his fastball, the pitch he seemed forced to rely on the most.
“You’re trying to get big league hitters out with a pitch you don’t really know where it’s going,” he said, “and the other ones were garbage. So it just wasn’t very good tonight.”
DeGrom even acknowledged that Hickox deserved credit. After the fourth inning, deGrom appeared to argue with the umpire about a pitch, but he said he had merely asked if the pitch had really missed the strike zone. After looking at it on video between innings, deGrom conceded that the umpire had made the right call.
“He was right,” the pitcher said.
DeGrom has been the subject of trade speculation, considering that the Mets are doing so poorly. They began the season 11-1, but with Saturday’s loss they fell to 12 games under .500, at 31-43. Sandy Alderson, the general manager, said before Friday’s game that the team needed to improve quickly or it would consider trading assets before the July 31 trade deadline.
The Mets have lost both games since Alderson said that, and they have dropped five in a row.
After Saturday’s loss, Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said that Jason Vargas, who was scheduled to start Sunday, had suffered a calf strain while training and would be placed on the disabled list. Callaway said he did not yet know who would be the starting pitcher for Sunday’s game, which was scheduled to begin less than 15 hours later.