On his 29th birthday, Jacob deGrom was named National League Player of the Week for his two brilliant pitching performances. He finished the week with a 0.53 ERA, which is all the more impressive considering he faced the reigning World Series champs and the current leaders in the National League East. In both games he ended his start with a flourish, strikeouts on 97 and a 98 mph fastballs, respectively.
deGrom’s week started off against the Cubs, and he went the distance with his first complete game of the season. He struck out six batters and limited the damage against a potentially dangerous team. He induced double plays in four consecutive innings, and the only blemish on his record was an Addison Russell solo home run in the seventh.
His next opponent was the Nationals on Father’s Day, and he got a bit unlucky in the first when he allowed an unearned run. But he didn’t give the formidable Washington offense much to work with beyond that. He struck out six and ended his outing with a strikeout of Bryce Harper. Sunday’s start was also memorable for deGrom since he hit the first home run of his career in the majors.
These two impressive performances came on the heels of two of the worst starts of his career, during which he gave up 15 runs against the Brewers and Rangers. In his previous start before those two hiccups, he almost had a complete game against the Pirates. He pitched into the ninth inning and struck out ten. When the righty has been on this season he has been almost unbeatable, and the Mets need him to be that ace going forward if they are going to climb back into the playoff race.