First Base: The Mets’ Jacob deGrom made history on Monday in Los Angeles. After throwing six innings of one-run ball against the Dodgers, deGrom became the first pitcher since 1910 to allow three runs or less in 25 straight starts in a single season. deGrom has had one of the strangest seasons in recent memory. He has arguably been the best pitcher in the league this year, leading all pitchers in fWAR (7.3) and ERA (1.68), and leading National League pitchers in ERA+ (220) and FIP (2.08). Despite deGrom being so great this year, the Mets have consistently provided him with dreadful run support, leading him to have an 8-8 record, while the Mets are 12-16 in games deGrom has started this year. The disconnect between deGrom’s mediocre record and his excellent other stats have led to discussions about the legitimacy of the pitching win, and how much it actually means when evaluating a pitcher. For comparison, deGrom (8-8) has gotten the fourth-worst run support in the league this year at 3.57 runs per game, while Max Scherzer (17-6) has gotten the ninth-best run support this year, at 5.20 runs per game. It will be interesting to see how the NL Cy Young race will play out this year, as many new school writers/fans completely disregard win-loss record and think deGrom should win due to his ERA, WAR, etc., while people on the old school side of things will likely favor Scherzer or Aaron Nola, as they think a pitchers win-loss record is one of the most important stats.
Second Base: The Rockies’ Trevor Story hit three home runs on Wednesday against the Giants, including a 460 foot blast and a 505 foot moonshot. Story’s 505 foot home run was the longest home run in the Statcast era, going back to 2015, passing Giancarlo Stanton’s 504 foot shot, which was also hit in Colorado, in 2016. Story has had a resurgent season, bouncing back from a sophomore slump last year. He is currently hitting .296/.351/.559 with 31 home runs, 95 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. He has also lowered his strikeout rate from 34.4% last year, to 25.8% this year. Story and teammate Nolan Arenado, who is hitting .297/.379/.548, make up one of the best shortstop-third base combinations in the league, and there is a chance they could both finish in the top 10 in NL MVP voting this year. Story and Arenado have been key pieces to the Rockies success this year, who are currently sitting in first place, and are looking to win the first division title in franchise history.
Third Base: Phillies legend Ryan Howard announced his retirement on Tuesday. Howard finishes his career as a .258/.343/.515 hitter, with 382 career home runs. Howard was a centerpiece on the great Phillies teams of the mid to late 2000s that won five consecutive NL East titles, from 2007 to 2011. Howard won Rookie of the Year in 2005, and followed it up with NL MVP honors in 2006, when he hit .313/.425/.659 with 58 home runs and 149 RBIs. He finished top 10 in NL MVP voting in the each of the 5 years following 2006, and was one of the most feared hitters in baseball over half a decade. Howard hit three home runs in the 2008 World Series, which helped lead the Phillies to their second World Championship. Howard also set several records during his illustrious career. He was the fastest player in MLB history to reach 250 home runs by games played, and also the fastest to reach 1000 career RBIs. Although injuries plagued the second half of his career, Phillies fans will always
remember “The Big Piece” for all of his wonderful accomplishments while he donned the red pinstripes.