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Jacob deGrom dominates in final start of 2018

deGrom’s last start put an exclamation point on his outstanding season.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Jacob deGrom nailed his season finale. In an outing that should make television writers jealous, the presumptive Cy Young winner in the National League threw eight scoreless innings, struck out ten, and didn’t issue any walks. He allowed merely two hits and finished his season with a 1.70 ERA, making it very clear that he was the best pitcher in all of baseball this year.

As per usual, it took a while for the Mets to give deGrom run support. But after missing opportunities to do so earlier in the game, the team finally scored when Dominic Smith singled to plate Michael Conforto in the bottom of the sixth. And as it turned out, that would have been enough.

But as deGrom returned to the dugout after ending the eighth inning with the last of his ten strikeouts, it was apparent that his night was over. With just a one-run lead, there was a risk—a pretty big one, really—that the Mets’ bullpen would cough up the lead in the ninth and erase deGrom’s shot at a winning record for the season. As meaningless as W-L records are for evaluating pitchers, it would have been a shame to see deGrom’s stat line end at 9-9.

Shortly after deGrom’s final innings, though, the Mets were able to give him a little breathing room to get his tenth victory. And both of the runs were created by the same pair of players who had scored the first one. Conforto hit a no-doubt solo home run to give the Mets a 2-0 lead, and not long after that, Smith hit an opposite-field solo shot of his own to make it 3-0.

Seth Lugo threw an easy scoreless inning in the ninth, making it official: Jacob deGrom finished the 2018 season with a 10-9 record. He should be the clear Cy Young winner regardless of that outdated metric, but again, it looks nice.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jacob deGrom, +55.5% WPA, Dominic Smith, +14.7% WPA, Michael Conforto, +14.0% WPA
Big losers: Todd Frazier, -12.4% WPA, Austin Jackson, -10.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Dominic Smith singles to score Michael Conforto in the sixth, +17.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Amed Rosario strikes out with runners on first and second in the fifth, -5.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +58.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: -8.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Dominic Smith