In yet another spectacular performance by two-time All-Star Jacob deGrom, the Mets pitcher pitched a complete game while allowing no earned runs, lowering his ERA to an MLB-best 1.71.
His attitude towards the game is what makes him one of the best, determined to blank his opponents by any means necessary. “I definitely wanted to go out there and throw the ball well,” deGrom said. “But every time I take the mound, I want to put up zeros. What other guys do is out of my control.”
Eight innings deep, the Mets ace had thrown 99 pitches and was due up third in the batting order as the Amazins came to bat. Typically, MLB managers would pinch hit in a situation like this in an attempt to add some extra run support to cushion their lead, but when a player is throwing the way deGrom was, this is no easy decision to make. His pitching coach left it up to Jacob.
“Do you want it?” Dave Eiland said to his pitcher. “Yeah, I’ll finish it,” deGrom replied. “You sure you want it?” Eiland continued. “You don’t have to.” “I want to finish it,” deGrom said. The rest is history.
This makes two wins in a row for the Cy Young candidate, a stat that has not come easily to the 30-year-old thus far this season. Despite his excellence, he has struggled to put tallies in the win column, through no fault of his own. This can be attributed to New York’s lack of offensive prowess.
The Mets have had a tough time putting up runs when deGrom is on the mound. In fact, he ranks 4th to last in run support per game with an average of 3.76 runs behind him per nine innings. As a result, he only holds an 8-7 record this season.
However, his win-loss totals should not cover up the fact that deGrom has been arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball. He is the only pitcher to have an ERA this low in the last 18 years with at least 25 starts under his belt besides Zack Greinke in 2015.
He makes a strong case for the Cy Young Award, bestowed upon the best pitcher from each league in the MLB. Jacob has undoubtedly earned the right to be in the conversation, and if the voters of Baseball’s Writers’ Association of America can overlook his modest win total, he is deserving of this recognition, to say the least.
Mets manager Mickey Calloway agrees with this assertion, saying that “Jacob has continued to prove why he is probably the front-runner at this point.” He has also been quoted stating, “If we ended the season right now, he should win it.”
It’s not every day that you see a pitcher in the majors with an earned run average south of 2.00, and if this honor eludes him merely because he is on a club that can’t produce runs to back up his dominance, then the league seriously needs to contemplate the criteria by which they give out the coveted award.
Featured Image via Flickr/Keith Allison