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Jacob deGrom has been Cy Young worthy this season

The righty has put together an impressive season despite the Mets’ struggles.

Chicago Cubs v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

This season has been pretty dreadful in almost every aspect of the game with the Mets finding ways to top themselves in futility. Despite the results, this season has also been a special one in the case of Jacob deGrom.

deGrom came into the season with lofty goals in mind. His goal from the outset was to win the Cy Young and so far he is making a case to do just that. He has been a joy to watch and is putting up numbers the likes of which that haven’t been seen in a few years for the boys in orange and blue.

The most recent comparable season was Matt Harvey’s in 2013. Around this time five years ago, Matt Harvey started eighteen games and held a 2.27 ERA in 123 innings. He struck out 141 and walked just 27 batters.

deGrom missed a start due to a hyperextended elbow but his season still compares favorably to both Harvey and the Mets’ Cy Young winners at this point in their respective seasons.

Pitcher (Year) IP ERA K BB
Jacob deGrom (2018) 115.1 1.79 142 29
Matt Harvey (2013) 123.0 2.27 141 27
R.A. Dickey (2012) 125.0 2.66 127 28
Dwight Gooden (1985) 138.2 1.75 137 39
Tom Seaver (1973) 144.2 2.05 123 35

Jacob deGrom also stacks up well against his contemporaries so far this season. He is among the league leaders in all the major categories despite the missed start, and exiting another two games early. He leads the league in ERA and WAR but Max Scherzer is the reigning Cy Young winner for a reason and both Aaron Nola and Ross Stripling are having fantastic seasons.

Jacob deGrom 115.1 1.79 142 29 5.4
Ross Stripling 89.1 2.22 103 13 3.0
Jon Lester 100.0 2.25 79 35 3.0
Max Scherzer 127.2 2.33 177 32 5.0
Aaron Nola 116.0 2.41 116 33 5.0

So what has changed for the lanky righty this season? It could be a combination of pitching inside more and added velocity on nearly all of his pitches.

deGrom has always had a blazing fourseam fastball and it has been an effective pitch for him again this season, but along with that pitch he has seen an uptick in swings and misses against his changeup and slider.

Brooks Baseball

Since the wins have not been there it has been hard to enjoy just what deGrom has accomplished this season. He is striking out an average of 11.1 batters per nine innings, the highest rate of his career, and with runners in scoring position batters are hitting an absurd .128/.205/.192 with a .397 OPS.

That stat was never more evident than in the abbreviated start against the Phillies. After loading the bases with no outs and laboring for most of the first inning, deGrom saved the best for last with a strikeout of Maikel Franco to weave his way out of trouble.

Since it hasn’t always been easy to watch deGrom starts without a sense of dread in the pit of the stomach once he is removed from the game, he is still incredible to watch even if the outcome isn’t the one we were all hoping for.

One of his most dominant starts of the year was at home against the Diamondbacks. He allowed only one run and struck out thirteen in the Mets’ win.

The first signs of trouble for this team happened in early April when the bullpen blew deGrom’s masterful start against the Nationals, but that still doesn’t take away from how brilliant deGrom was against the division rivals.

The ace has had other brilliant outings this season, but considering how the rest of the pitching fared in Coors Field, his performance looks all the more impressive.

deGrom has built a legitimate Cy Young case this season and will deservedly be at the All-Star Game. There has been some chatter about trading the ace, but should he stay and keep performing at this current level, he has a chance to join some Met greats in an elite club.