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Jacob DeGrom tosses, Mets expect ace to make next scheduled start

San Diego Padres v New York Mets

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 11: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field on June 11, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK - Two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom is expected to make his next scheduled start for the New York Mets despite having to leave his most recent outing because of an elbow ailment.

DeGrom played catch and threw a bullpen session Saturday afternoon, a day after he exited after six scoreless innings against San Diego because of right flexor tendinitis.

Manager Luis Rojas said his ace should be ready to face the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

A precautionary MRI showed no problem, Rojas said.

“It’s something that we want to take day by day so today it’s just play catch,” Rojas said. “He said he felt fine, so we’ll see the progression in between starts and see that he can do everything, throw his side and make his next start. That’s the expectation right now but we still want to pay close attention to it.”

DeGrom was pulled after 80 pitches of one-hit ball against the Padres. He was not concerned the diagnosis will disrupt a season in which he has dominated opponents.

The elbow began to tighten up in the sixth inning Friday, said deGrom, who extended his streak of scoreless innings to 22.

DeGrom’s 0.56 ERA is the lowest ever by a pitcher through 10 starts, just ahead of Juan Marichal’s 0.59 in 1966.

“Whenever you say elbow anything for a pitcher, everyone gets nervous about that,” deGrom said Friday. “But like I said, I do a lot of ligament tests on my own, and doing those, knowing what those feel like, it’s a totally different spot.”

DeGrom had a no-hitter until Wil Myers beat the shift with a weak grounder in the fifth. Myers was caught stealing and was the only runner to reach base on deGrom, who struck out 10.

He has thrown 128 of his 839 pitches this season 100 mph or harder. He topped that mark seven times Friday. No other starter had more than 10 such pitches before Friday. Rojas said pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and the performance team constantly monitor the stress on deGrom’s arm.

DeGrom got his 100th strikeout this year when Fernando Tatis Jr. went down swinging in the fourth, reaching the mark in 61 2/3 innings. It is the fewest innings to reach 100 punchouts in a season since the mound was moved to 60 feet, six inches in 1893, per ESPN.