The 2014 SB Nation MLB Awards roll on, with today's category Best Pitching Appearance of 2014. Technically, relief appearances are eligible, but only starting pitcher appearances made the cut (with all due respect to , , and ).
Here are the nominees, in chronological order.
Date: April 27
Stats: 8 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 6 K, 4 BB
Game Score: 78
Final Score: Mets 4, Marlins 0
Dillon Gee didn't have a great season overall, but he pitched well in April and May. This was his best game of the season. The three hits he allowed were all singles, and a pair of timely double plays erased the very minor rallies mustered by the Fish.
Date: June 19
Stats: 9 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 8 K, 1 BB
Game Score: 88
Final Score: Mets 1, Marlins 0
Game Score of 88 was the best of the Mets' season. Wheeler's performance was a pleasure to watch, and perhaps provided a glimpse of his future, if he's able to harness his stuff. Not one Marlin made it as far as second base all night. Three of the four baserunners Wheeler allowed were erased by double plays. David Wright's first-inning solo home run was enough. Well done, Zack!
Date: June 24
Stats: 8 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 8 K, 1 BB
Game Score: 77
Final Score: Mets 10, Athletics 1
This was back when the Athletics were the juggernaut of MLB. Bartolo Colon pounded the strike zone and made quick work of the A's in a game that took less than 2.5 hours to complete. The Mets lineup tookdeep three times, including a three-run shot from Travis d'Arnaud in his comeback game. Ten runs was more than enough for Colon, who gave up a run in the first inning but dominated thereafter.
Date: September 9
Stats: 8 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 9 K, 0 BB
Game Score: 85
Final Score: Mets 2, 0
We now enter the Jacob deGrom portion of the contest. The Rookie of the Year tied the Rockies up in knots in this contest, striking out nine without walking a batter. He threw 75 strikes out of 100 pitches, generating an impressive 13 swinging strikes. deGrom departed after the eighth inning and the Mets needed three pitchers -- Mejia, Edgin, and Familia -- to close out the game in a shaky ninth inning. It probably would have been less stressful if deGrom stayed on to finish it.
Date: September 15
Stats: 7 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 13 K, 1 BB
Game Score: 65
Final Score: Marlins 6, Mets 5
This start features the lowest Game Score of all the nominees, and yet it probably has a decent chance to win the poll. deGrom struck out the first eight batters he faced, before Marlins starting pitchersingled. It was quite a show. deGrom's whiff pace slowed through the rest of the game, but he still finished with a personal high of 13 strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Mets' bullpen coughed up the lead and our heroes lost. But that won't be the lasting memory of this one.
There are the nominees, folks. Vote in the poll below.