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Jacob deGrom’s stellar season: Starts 21 & 22

Despite pitching admirably the ace now has a losing record.

New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

At Amazin’ Avenue HQ we (semi) jokingly discussed how baseball would need to come up with another statistic to measure pitchers next season because of how Jacob deGrom’s season has gone. Something where we would tell future generations that the 2018 Mets were so bad they changed baseball forever.

A “deGrom” would probably look a lot like his past two starts. He pitched at least seven innings, gave up three runs or less, and got the loss. These starts extended his streak of giving up three runs or less to nineteen.

These were not deGrom’s best performances this season but they were still perfectly acceptable starts and games even a mediocre team could’ve won. It’s a shame that the best season of his career is now becoming synonymous with Mets’ futility. Any time a new article is written about the awful 2018 Mets, most likely there will be a picture of deGrom in the header. Him sitting in the dugout, looking into the distance, with a look on his face wondering where it all went wrong.

The offense was the main culprit again in start 21 against the Pirates. Pittsburgh was a hot team heading into that series and for the first few innings deGrom held them in check despite not getting a ton of strikeouts. He also tried to lead the offensive charge that day. The Mets had six hits, deGrom had two of them including their only extra base hit. It was still 0-0 heading into the sixth before it all fell apart. A stolen base and a single allowed the first run to score and the following inning the Pirates tacked on two more runs. deGrom finished the night with a line of seven innings, three runs, five strikeouts, a loss, and an ERA of 1.82. It was also the first time his record fell below .500 and Mickey Callaway mentioned after the game that the loss hurt his ace’s Cy Young chances.

The start against the Braves was more of the same. deGrom provided the only offense with a RBI single and the Mets lost 2-1. The righty’s final line was eight innings, two runs, and nine strikeouts against a very good Atlanta team. His ERA rose to 1.85 and his record stands at 5-7, the same as Matt Harvey’s.

In losses this season, deGrom has a 2.88 ERA and opponents are hitting just .220/.259/.360 with a .619 OPS. The 2.88 ERA would still be good for fifth in the league just ahead of Zack Greinke at 2.96. deGrom is still fantastic at limiting damage. With runners in scoring position, the opposition is hitting just .152/.225/.222 with a .447 OPS.

Unfortunately Callaway was probably right, deGrom’s Cy Young chances took a hit. Both Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer had strong weeks but deGrom still leads in a couple of key categories. His FIP of 2.29 and ERA+ 204 are both tops in the league to go along with the sparkling 1.85 ERA.

deGrom vs. the NL Cy Young Field

Jacob deGrom 146.1 1.85 173 33 0.97 6.7
Max Scherzer 154.2 2.33 210 38 0.91 6.8
Aaron Nola 148 2.37 144 40 0.99 6.7
Miles Mikolas 137.1 2.75 97 25 1.08 3.2
Zack Greinke 142.2 2.96 148 25 1.04 4.3

The Mets’ ace is still having a phenomenal season when compared with other standout seasons in Mets’ history.

deGrom vs. Mets History

Pitcher (Year) IP ERA K BB
Pitcher (Year) IP ERA K BB
Jacob deGrom (2018) 146.1 1.85 173 33
Matt Harvey (2013) 150.2 2.21 172 29
R.A. Dickey (2012) 153.1 2.82 156 36
Dwight Gooden (1985) 170.2 1.74 163 45
Tom Seaver (1973) 178.2 1.96 155 40

Even with a very minor hiccup deGrom is still in the thick of the Cy Young race and it will be interesting to see if the voters will ignore the Win-Loss record. Good or bad, deGrom’s season has become one of the storylines of the 2018 season and perhaps one that changes the mainstream view of the win statistic.