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Jacob deGrom had an historic season in 2018

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The lanky righty had one of the best seasons in Mets history.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Back in mid-July when I first started reviewing Jacob deGrom’s starts, he was in the midst of putting together a pretty spectacular season. He was leading the league in ERA, and the rest of his numbers held up well against both his contemporaries and other special seasons in Mets’ history.

As the season wore on, there were starts I was excited to recap, but more often than not it was reliving the frustration of deGrom’s latest masterpiece that went for naught. Some combination of the offense, defense, and the bullpen continuously let him down, and just how special of a season he was putting together seemed to get lost in some sloppy play by a floundering team.

But deGrom persevered, and it became obvious that he was far and away the best pitcher in the league. Now that he has some hardware to his name, and the frustrations are long forgotten, what exactly did Mets fans have the privilege of watching this season? Where does the righty’s season rank among the other greats in Mets history?

First off, deGrom made a bit of history this season. He blew past Dwight Gooden’s mark of twenty-four straight starts allowing three runs or fewer, and he finished the season with twenty-nine, which is a new single-season record. He passed another legendary Met when he set a new record for consecutive quality starts as well. Tom Seaver’s franchise record stood at nineteen but deGrom finished the season with twenty-four which became another major league record.

That bit of history aside, deGrom’s season will still go down as one of the best in franchise history.

deGrom vs. Mets History

Pitcher (Year) IP ERA ERA+ K K/9 BB WHIP FIP bWAR
Pitcher (Year) IP ERA ERA+ K K/9 BB WHIP FIP bWAR
Jacob deGrom (2018) 217 1.7 216 269 11.157 46 0.912 1.98 10
Noah Syndergaard (2016) 183.2 2.6 155 218 10.682 43 1.149 2.29 5
Matt Harvey (2013) 178.1 2.27 157 191 9.689 31 0.931 2.01 5.4
R.A. Dickey (2012) 233.2 2.73 139 230 8.9 54 1.053 3.27 5.7
David Cone (1988) 231.1 2.22 145 213 8.3 80 1.115 2.58 5.5
Dwight Gooden (1985) 276.2 1.53 229 268 8.7 69 0.965 2.13 12.2
Tom Seaver (1973) 290 2.08 175 251 7.8 64 0.976 2.57 10.6
Tom Seaver (1971) 286.1 1.76 194 289 9.1 61 0.946 1.93 10.2
Tom Seaver (1969) 273.1 2.21 165 208 6.8 82 1.039 3.11 7.2

While Gooden’s special 1985 season is tough to beat, Jacob deGrom’s still ranks up there towards the top. He was more dominant than Noah Syndergaard in terms of strikeouts per nine innings, and his ERA and ERA+ are second only to Gooden. His WHIP ranks as the best of the bunch, and his FIP is only behind Seaver’s low mark from 1971. The strikeouts and innings pitched are hard to compare since the game is different from the eras during which Seaver and Gooden pitched, but in 2018, starting pitchers averaged 5.4 innings per start. Jacob deGrom did better than that and averaged 6.8 innings per start, so even though his innings seem low compared with the others, he was much better than his peers.

In deGrom’s first five seasons in the majors, he has won the Rookie of the Year, was named to two All-Star games, won the Cy Young, and helped lead the Mets to victory in the playoffs in 2015. deGrom has established himself as one of the more brilliantly consistent pitchers in franchise history—in an organization that’s seen plenty of great starting pitching. The end to his story has yet to be written, but with his incredible 2018 season, deGrom has already cemented himself in Mets history.