It doesn’t matter what metric you are using or what advanced stat is out there, because if Jacob deGrom has an under-.500 record at the end of the season, it’s going to be very difficult to see him winning the Cy Young Award.
And it would be a shame, because in tonight’s 5-3 Met loss, deGrom set a Major League record of 26 consecutive starts with two or fewer runs. Tonight, he gave up two and that was just not enough.
“That one inning, I gave up three hits,” deGrom said of his one gaff in the game, a double to Lewis Brinson. “And it ended up being a bases clearing double. He just beat me there.”
So now his record is 8-9 with a 1.71 ERA and the proverbial question continues: Will that be enough? With Max Schurzer and Aaron Nola putting up the wins to go with their two-something run averages, will that overtake deGrom, who leads in every other number besides overall record.
He also has 239 strikeouts, becoming the third Met pitcher to reach that number in two consecutive seasons. The others? Tom Seaver and Doc Gooden. Hmmm.
Now manager Mickey Callaway is going to spin it for his guy, of course and said the award is more about not having runs scoring, then how the team does when their best pitcher is on the mound. “In my mind, pitching is all about run prevention,” he said. “No matter how you do it, it’s just ERA that tells the tale. All the things Jake has done this year is about run prevention.”
That’s a fine opinion, but there never has been a Cy Young winner to have a losing record. Even if the rest of the numbers say ace, if the record says No. 5 pitcher, then how can he be the most valuable pitcher in the league?
There’s also the argument about “stressful innings,” meaning ones where there is little to no run support. DeGrom is definitely leading the league with those, however, you have to wonder if he would have a low ERA with some run support.
That’s a question for the voters, but hopefully they won’t have to answer that one. DeGrom has three more starts and a chance for the Mets to give him a few more wins. If they can tally 11 on the season, then he has a chance to make this interesting. Yet, he is pitching in Boston on Sunday and then against the Nationals and Braves. None of them are easy games. Tonight, was supposed to be a gimme too against the hapless Marlins, and you saw what happened there.
At least it makes the Mets interesting for three games over the next two and a half weeks. Callaway said he wouldn’t use deGrom on short rest unless there’s playoff implications, but the pitcher may think otherwise if he needs another win at the end of the season to secure his Cy Young award.
So hold on to your hats. It’s going to get interesting for sure.
Will deGrom do it or won’t he?