It took Madison Bumgarner to cool down Jacob deGrom after today’s 3-1 loss to the Giants, and the tightrope of the Cy Young race continues.
It looks like deGrom needs to win at least five of his last seven starts of the season to seal the deal. After today’s loss, where he allowed one earned run in six innings, keeping his league leading ERA at 1.71, the Mets ace needs to get some more team help if he is going to make it through the finish line.
Look, I understand the prevailing opinion that the win doesn’t matter, but at the same time, for deGrom to be honored as the best pitcher in the National League, he still will need a few more Ws if he’s going to take home the award. Eight wins isn’t going to do it. Neither is nine or 10 and his record needs to be over-.500 or you can call all of this a moot point.
Six years ago, R.A. Dickey had a career season when he went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA. He got regular run support from the Mets so his record reflected his work. At the same time, the 20-win milestone was the cementing point for Dickey to win the award. He was the best pitcher in the National League that year and deservedly won it.
Now today, wins apparently don’t matter. DeGrom’s main competition for the award is Aaron Nola with a 14-3 record and a 2.24 ERA and Matt Scherzer who has 16 wins and a 2.11 ERA. Both can conceivably win 20, although Scherzer is the more likely candidate. If either player gets to the 20 milestone will it matter for deGrom or does it just take him out of the running, even if he has an ERA of under-2?
Felix Hernandez won the award in 2010 with 13-12 record and a 2.27 ERA in the American League, but that wasn’t the norm and the competition wasn’t as fierce. David Price was No. 2 with a 19-6 record and a 2.72 and CC Sabathia won 21 games for the Yankees that year too. So it can be done.
It’s no secret deGrom wants to win the award and if you doubted it, he told it directly to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “It would mean a lot, a whole lot,” deGrom said. “I feel like it’s the best personal goal, or accomplishment, you could ever get. It’s a team game, but as a pitcher if you’re out there pitching the best, and doing everything possibly you can to help you team win, it would be a great personal accomplishment to win the Cy Young award.”
The bottom line is the target is on his back and deGrom needs help from the Mets every start. He needs to win as many games possible to seal the award. He needs run support. And as we have seen this is not an easy thing for his club.
A strong September showing will help seal his candidacy and maybe when everything is said and done, 12 or 13 wins may be enough for the Mets ace.
At least it gives you a reason to watch.