LOS ANGELES -- The 121 pitches that Jacob deGrom threw Friday in the National League Division Series Game 1 should preclude him from coming back to start Game 4 on short rest, regardless of where the series stands at that point.
"After that many pitches and having to work so hard early in the game," Mets manager Terry Collins said Saturday, "I think it's unrealistic to think right now that he'd be the Game 4 pitcher."
The team is unlikely to finalize its decision until Monday, after deGrom has had an opportunity to rest his right arm. But all signs point to rookie left-hander Steven Matz, who will make a final bullpen tune-up during Sunday's off-day, starting Game 4 on Tuesday. Matz missed his final regular-season start due to a sore upper back, but he threw a simulated game Thursday in Florida with no ill effects.
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If the Mets are leading the series, 2-1, heading into Game 4, Collins said, there is no chance deGrom will come back on three days' rest for the first time in his career. If they are down, the Mets will consider it, but even then it remains unlikely.
Eighty of deGrom's season-high 121 pitches came in the first four innings of Game 1. After that, the NL's reigning Rookie of the Year settled down, needing just 41 pitches to complete his final three innings. He finished with 13 strikeouts, matching Tom Seaver's single-game franchise postseason record, while scoring his first career playoff win.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.