It looked like a banner outing for rookie Jacob deGrom. He tied a major league record by striking out the first eight Marlins and was cruising towards his ninth win.
Unfortunately, win No. 9 must wait, since the Mets bullpen couldn’t hold a lead for him (What else is new?) but when everything was said and done, deGrom tallied 28 scoreless innings in a row. He now has a 2.68 ERA and had 13 strikeouts to his credit from today’s game.
“It’s as dominating performance that I have seen to start a game,” said manager Terry Collins.
More importantly, though, the Mets may have their fifth Rookie of the Year and first in 30 years when a young pitcher named Dwight Gooden took home the award.
The stats are there for the late blooming 26 year old, even with the first 45 days of the season spent in Las Vegas and a stint on the disabled list, deGrom numbers stack up to every rookie in the league. His only competition should be the Reds Billy Hamilton with his 56 steals to go along with 22 caught stealing – essentially he runs all the time – and let’s not mention his .259 average. He strikes out too much (111 times) and doesn’t walk enough with only 30 on the year.
Simply put he should not be in deGrom’s league.
Rather, the long haired righty is in a league by himself.
The 8-6 record is deceiving, since the Mets don’t score any runs. On a better team he would have 12 or 13 wins. It’s the type of outings he produces. He started at 1-5 on the season and didn’t get his first win until his eighth start and has been 7-1 since.
More importantly deGrom learned how to get big league hitters out.
“Hitters up here are more disciplined,” Collins said. “So he can get ahead in the count as they lay off then they have to chase pitches when they expand the strike zone.”
Even more importantly, deGrom has become the ace the Mets have been looking for since Matt Harvey went down last year. He has been dominating the second half and if this team was in contention – or had a fan base that hasn’t been beaten down for the last six years – his starts would be events.
And his long hair makes you see a young Tim Lincecum on the mound. His stuff is that dominating.
In another dark season, deGrom has given Met fans some hope for 2015. A starting staff anchored by Harvey, deGrom, and Zack Wheeler with Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Rafael Montero waiting in the wings.
DeGrom is scheduled to have two more starts on the year against the Braves over the weekend and then against the Astros on the Mets penultimate game. He can add to his totals on the year and maybe make it to 10 wins.
Hopefully the BBWAA writers won’t hold the lack of wins against him. DeGrom has shown that he is the most dominating rookie in the National League and is the most deserving among the league freshmen for the award.