Carlsbad alumni Trevor Rogers got the better of Cy Young winner Jason deGrom for the second time in his young career to collect his first win of the 2021 season on Saturday with a six-inning, 10-strikeout performance allowing the Miami Marlins to blank the New York Mets, 3-0.
The game started out rough for Rogers (1-1) with Mets leadoff hitter Brandon Nimmo hitting a double on the second pitch of the game followed by Francisco Lindor reaching first base on a fielding error sacrifice bunt to put runners at the corners with no outs.
Rogers composed himself and after Lindor was thrown out attempting to steal second base, the Marlins starter struck out Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso to end the inning.
“I wasn’t panicking because it was the bottom of the first inning,” Rogers said when he was faced with runners at the corners. “I knew there was a lot of baseball left. That throwing out of Lindor was huge.”
Marlins manager Don Mattingly was impressed with Rogers continuing to attack the Mets even with a runner at third base and no outs.
“We are seeing him (mature) right in front of our eyes,” Mattingly said. “I think he learned a lot of lessons last year and he is using them. That’s the key. The guys that can make adjustments here are the guys that are going to be really good.”
For the next three inning Rogers was unhittable. Including the first inning he retired 11 consecutive Mets before Dominic Smith singled to centerfield in the fifth inning. During that run Rogers struck out five batters including Nimmo and Lindor.
Before Rogers came out to start the second inning the Marlins got a solo home run from Jazz Chisholm Jr. to give Rogers a little bit of breathing room.
“We get a run that early it’s always good news,” Rogers said. “I was still keeping the same plan of attack (with the lead) and pitching to my strengths. I was attacking the top part of the zone with my fastball and mixing up my off-speed. I’m keeping the same plan of attack until they prove me wrong.”
The one run was all Miami would need although the Marlins added two runs in the ninth inning after deGrom was taken out. deGrom and Rogers combined for 24 strikeouts with Rogers’ 10 tying his career-high and finished his outing by striking out Conforto and Alonso one again.
“(Rogers) was throwing more strikes than the two previous outings that we saw him last year,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “We’re aware that he had a really good camp. His velo was a tick up. He had a bunch of swings and misses from his fastball. He was not afraid to throw inside to the righties. He was mixing the slider well. He did a good job.”
Rogers was pleased with his overall outing, especially him with a statline similar to deGrom’s in the strikeout department.
“I did a really good job maintaining my composure during those intense moments (in the first inning),” he said. “I executed my pitches well.”
Rogers is scheduled to pitch next against the Atlanta Braves on April 16.
Matthew Asher can be reached at 575-628-5524, [email protected] or @Caveman_Masher on Twitter.