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Jacob deGrom dominated NL East competition last year

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As good as he was overall, Jacob deGrom was even better within the division.

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

In 2014, Jacob deGrom was able to shut down just about any opposing lineup he faced, as evidenced by his 2.69 ERA, 2.67 FIP, 1.14 WHIP, and, of course, his National League Rookie of the Year Award. But when deGrom faced National League East opponents, he took his already outstanding numbers to another level.

Of his 22 starts, 10 came against the Braves, Marlins, Nationals, and Phillies. His 4-2 record in those starts  does not convey just how dominant he was in those games.


G

IP

Wins

ERA

AVG

OBP

SLP

OPS

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

vs. NL East

10

64.1

4

2.10

.225

.280

.290

.570

1.09

11.61

2.52

vs. Rest of MLB

12

76.0

5

3.20

.230

.293

.322

.615

1.18

7.22

2.96

Total

22

140.1

9

2.69

.228

.288

.326

.613

1.14

9.24

2.76

In the division, deGrom walked fewer, struck out more, allowed fewer baserunners, and pitched slightly deeper in to games. Of course, the NL East hardly evoked memories of the mid-2000s Yankees and Red Sox lineups. Of the five teams, only the Nationals had what could be considered a strong offense, finishing third in runs scored and fourth in OPS. The Marlins were in the middle of the pack, finishing seventh in both runs scored and OPS. The Phillies (10th in runs scored, 13th in OPS) and Braves (14th in runs scored and 12th in OPS) were at the bottom of the league. But this should not diminish the fact that deGrom was virtually lights-out against the Mets' most frequent opponents.

Taking it a step further, below is a breakdown of deGrom's performance against each team.

Atlanta

G

IP

Wins

ERA

AVG

OBP

SLP

OPS

WHIP

S0/9

BB/9

3

18.0

2

2.00

.235

.288

.250

.538

1.167

14.5

2.5

Best Start: On July 8, deGrom picked up his second career win, and first at Citi Field, tossing seven shutout innings and scattering seven hits, none for extra-bases. deGrom struckout 11 and issued zero walks, one of two starts in which he went at least five innings and walked none.

Six Mets players had at least two hits, including Curtis Granderson, who homered to lead off the game. The Mets won handily, 8-3.

Miami

G

IP

Wins

ERA

AVG

OBP

SLP

OPS

WHIP

S0/9

BB/9

4

27.0

2

1.67

.229

.286

.292

.578

1.111

11.33

2.67

Best Start: deGrom's final home start of the season on September 15 did not result in a decision, or even a Mets victory, but it might have been his most dominant performance of the season. He struck out the first eight Marlins he faced, en route to a season-high 13 strikeouts in seven innings. What was most impressive was deGrom's remarkable efficiency: he did not have a three-ball count until the fourth inning and only reached three balls with three of 28 batters faced.

He cruised through six innings, allowing just four baserunners and taking a 2-0 lead into the seventh. deGrom proceeded to allow three runs on three hits. The Mets scored three in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead, but Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia gave it right back in the top of the eighth. The Mets lost 6-5.

Philadelphia

G

IP

Wins

ERA

AVG

OBP

SLP

OPS

WHIP

S0/9

BB/9

2

13.1

0

2.03

.156

.224

.222

.446

0.825

10.8

2.7

Best Start: On August 29, deGrom went seven innings, giving up no earned runs and striking out five Phillies. He threw 103 pitches, surrendering four hits and issuing two walks. A three-run Mets offensive "explosion" in the bottom of the seventh gave deGrom a 4-1 win.

Washington

G

IP

Wins

ERA

AVG

OBP

SLP

OPS

WHIP

S0/9

BB/9

1

6.0

0

4.50

.318

.348

.545

.893

1.333

6.0

1.5

Best Only Start: While deGrom's lone start against the Nationals on August 7 saw him far from his best, he was the pitcher of record when the Mets tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh.

The Mets would lose 5-3 on a Bryce Harper walk-off two-run home run in the 13th inning.

After surrendering a two-run home run to Ian Desmond in the bottom of the second, deGrom retired the next seven batters he faced. He allowed seven hits, while striking out four and walking one.

Looking Ahead

Can deGrom match this level mastery over the NL East in 2015? Based on PECOTA's team projections, it certainly seems possible. Once again, Washington is projected to be the only formidable offense, as PECOTA pegs them to finish fifth in the NL in runs scored. The Marlins (11th), Braves (14th), and Phillies (15th) are all projected to finish in the bottom third of the league in runs scored.

With 10-to-15 starts against the four teams, presuming health, deGrom's continued ability to excel against the NL East could play a big part in the Mets contending for their first playoff appearance since 2006.