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Jacob deGrom’s stellar season: Start #20

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The righty received little support from both his offense and defense.

San Diego Padres v New York Mets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Mets finally won their first series since mid-May, winning two out of three against the last place Padres. Of course the one loss in the series came with Jacob deGrom on the mound, but that’s just the way this season has gone for the ace.

Coming off a solid All-Star appearance, deGrom took to the mound for his first start in the second half and he came out firing. He struck out two in the first and looked dominant early on. Shockingly the Mets even handed him a slim 1-0 lead, but as is usually the case during deGrom starts, the good feelings did not last long. Jose Bautista and Amed Rosario both made errors that cost deGrom runs.

Even among another frustrating game shocking stats like this emerge:

Perhaps it isn’t so shocking considering how impressive deGrom has been with runners in scoring position. Batters are now hitting just .126/.212/.184 with a .396 OPS in RBI situations. deGrom got into a bit of trouble and loaded the bases against San Diego but once again he got out of it and still has not given up a hit with the bases full this season.

This was deGrom’s seventeenth straight start where he allowed three earned runs or fewer, and after a couple shaky (by his insane standards) starts against the Dodgers and Marlins, the ace has turned it up a notch in July. He has pitched eight innings in every start so far this month, giving up just three earned runs while striking out twenty-five.

deGrom pitching eight innings, striking out ten, and giving up two earned runs against the Padres did feel a little bit like a let down considering how good he looked and how the game could’ve gone if he had a smidgen of defense played behind him.

Unfortunately for deGrom, Aaron Nola appears to be emerging as a serious contender for the Cy Young and the Phillies are giving him support to back it up. Max Scherzer is having yet another dominant season and still has the notoriety on the national stage as evidenced by John Smoltz casually mentioning Scherzer as the presumed winner of the award during the All-Star Game.

Even with Nola charging hard, deGrom still leads the world in ERA, his 2.27 FIP and otherworldly 222 ERA+ are both tops in the National League, and he is among the leaders in almost all other major categories.

deGrom vs. the NL Cy Young field

Pitcher IP ERA K BB WHIP WAR
Pitcher IP ERA K BB WHIP WAR
Jacob deGrom 131.1 1.71 159 32 0.97 6.0
Aaron Nola 134.0 2.42 136 37 0.99 6.0
Max Scherzer 140.2 2.43 189 35 0.92 5.7
Miles Mikolas 124.1 2.82 89 22 1.07 2.9
Ross Stripling 100.0 2.43 114 14 1.10 2.9

Jacob deGrom still matches up well among other special seasons in Mets’ history. Even though his innings pitched is behind the others, his strikeouts and walks compare favorably.

deGrom vs. Mets history

Pitcher (Year) IP ERA K BB
Pitcher (Year) IP ERA K BB
Jacob deGrom (2018) 131.1 1.71 159 32
Matt Harvey (2013) 137.0 2.23 157 28
R.A. Dickey (2012) 139.1 2.97 139 30
Dwight Gooden (1985) 155.2 1.68 153 43
Tom Seaver (1973) 160.2 2.02 138 37

deGrom still has a long way to go, but he is still positioned nicely to grab the coveted award for pitchers at the end of the season, wins notwithstanding.