Jacob deGrom stole glances at the clock, knowing if a half-hour melted into three-quarters of one, pitching coach Dave Eiland wouldn’t let him continue. Outside, tens of thousands of fans were ducking for cover, as lightning and rain mingled in the Philadelphia sky. Sequestered in the visiting clubhouse, deGrom applied a heat pack to his arm, then kept it loose with a light game of catch. Every 10 minutes, Eiland checked with deGrom to make sure he still had “the look in his eyes I wanted to see.”
That gaze did not soften when deGrom marched back to the Citizens Bank Park mound for the fourth inning Saturday, nor when he escaped trouble in the seventh. deGrom remained steely when Eiland asked him if he wanted to pitch the ninth and when he cranked out his three hardest fastballs of the night — 98 mph, 99 mph, 99 mph — to the final batter of a complete-game, 3-1 win over the Phillies.
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