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Tracking Jacob deGrom’s 2021 season: Start #5

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deGrom wasn’t at his absolute best on Wednesday night, but he was still very good.

Boston Red Sox v New York Mets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

On Wednesday night, Jacob deGrom threw six innings against the Red Sox that would look fantastic for just about any other pitcher in baseball. He allowed one run, struck out nine, walked one, and surrendered only three hits. Despite not looking his sharpest to begin the outing, he self-corrected during the game—as he often has in the course of his career—and enjoyed a very good start.

In the process, deGrom’s ERA rose to 0.51 on the season. Among qualified starting pitchers, that ranks second in Major League Baseball, as Danny Duffy has a 0.39 ERA through four starts for the Royals, and first in the National League. Joe Musgrove ranks second in the NL and third in MLB with a 1.24 ERA. deGrom leads all of baseball with 59 strikeouts, and he’s issued just four walks over that span. Only Corbin Burnes has bested in him strikeout-to-walk ratio so far, as he literally hasn’t walked anyone while racking up 49 strikeouts of his own.

And in the context of Mets history, deGrom continues to outpace three of the very best seasons in the history of his pitching-rich franchise.

Through 5 starts

Pitcher/Season IP ERA K BB
Pitcher/Season IP ERA K BB
deGrom '21 35.0 0.51 59 4
Seaver '71 39.1 1.37 45 9
Gooden '85 39.0 1.38 34 10
deGrom '18 32.0 2.53 40 8

While deGrom’s innings total simply won’t keep up with the totals of Seaver and Gooden over the course of the full season—the result of pitchers making fewer starts and throwing fewer innings per start on average in the modern game—he is outpacing their seasons and his own 2018 season in strikeouts and walks. As deGrom has shown himself, how a pitcher’s season looks at the end is not always determined by how it starts. But the fact that he’s putting up such incredible numbers early is still impressive.