WATCH: deGrom Accused of Cheating By Fan on Twitter
Mets fans, brace yourselves. Chaos is incoming.
A Twitter user @DoyersDave posted a short video on Twitter, showing New York Mets' ace Jacob deGrom make a few moves that he characterized as suspicious. The three-second video shows the pitcher rub his belt, then rub the "thumb" area of his glove, then briefly rub his fingers together before wiping his face on his sleeve. Here's the tweet in question:
So, is this just a conspiracy, or is there a legitimate case to be made against deGrom?
Let me say this first: I can absolutely see how someone could make this assumption. The moves deGrom makes seem very methodical and pre-planned if you watch closely. All that, and we are currently living in a hyper-sensitive baseball world, where every pitcher is on notice, and the punishment for cheating is higher than ever before.
As Charlie pointed out on The Drive today, however, using a foreign substance is intended to make your pitch spin more, not travel faster. In all likelihood, what deGrom is doing with his velocity is all-natural, despite it being borderline supernatural to watch. The batting averages of hitters facing deGrom go DOWN as the game goes on, to the point where hitters are hitting under .100 against him in their third trip to the plate and beyond.
In my opinion, it's actually easier to believe that deGrom is cheating, than it is to comprehend that what he's doing is natural. At the end of the day, no, I don't believe this video catches him cheating. That said, if he gets shelled like Gerrit Cole did in his next outing, there may be something to this video after all.