Mancuso: deGrom Cements the Cy Young

If Jacob deGrom is bypassed as the NL Cy Young Award winner there will be a historic debate. Then again, you expect those who have a say in the matter, the baseball writers, to make the Mets right-hander a unanimous first choice winner during awards week in mid-November.

Look at Wednesday night and go no further. Lack of run support reflects a season ending 10-9 record. The MLB leading ERA of 1.70,  allowing three runs or fewer in his 29th straight start tied a Major League record, and finishing with 269 strikeouts is more than enough to say this was the best pitcher baseball saw in 2018.

The Mets 3-0 win at Citi Field was all about Jacob deGrom and that Cy Young Award.

And a Cy Young season like this  could happen again for deGrom, though winning for his team was more important than the award or going in the record books. But Jacob deGrom will take his season of accomplishment  and enjoy every minute of it.

There was no better pitcher this baseball season. And if the award does not come his way it will be worse than a bad decision made by three judges at ringside of a championship fight.

Before the Mets win at Citi Field Wednesday night. manager Mickey Callaway once again said he would sit back and enjoy watching the best pitcher in baseball. Like the other 23 quality starts, this became number 24.

He retired the last 20 Atlanta Braves that came to bat. The Mets and deGrom may have also put a dent on the Braves’ quest for home field advantage in October. This was all about Jacob deGrom and that dominance from April to his last start Wednesday night.

Put him in the category of Bob Gibson, perhaps no argument there with this 2018 season. And the good part is the Mets have  Jacob deGrom under contract for another two years which leads to probably more records to come.

Deal with that another time. Begin the debate that Jacob deGrom cemented himself as that pitcher that could be compared to Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden, pretty good company with two of the all-time greats that got on the mound for the Mets.  

“I’m really excited with how the night went,” deGrom said. He also set a personal record after his 10th strikeout, the 1.000th of his career. He said that was a goal for the night, but it went a step further to the Cy Young Award.

The Jacob deGrom we have come to love. He never showed the frustration with that lack of run support and it was always the team that came first. To him, the Cy Young Award was not as important as winning a ballgame and getting the Mets to where they want to be.

“It was a lot cooler to get my 1,000th strikeout on my last pitch of the year than my first batter next year.”

Either way, Mickey Callaway will designate deGrom as the starter when the Mets reconvene in late March.  He is now the ace of this pitching staff. The manager and deGrom got a laugh about looking ahead at that first game of 2019, and Jacob deGrom getting the Opening Day start.

They were enjoying this moment in a season that has the Mets finishing strong, 42-26 since July 1.

“Every start he has out performed everybody,” Callaway said. “Fun to watch, his demeanor, diversity, work ethic, work he puts in with teammates.”

But the manager does not get to vote for the Cy Young Award. Put in the case with more run support and take away the numerous no-decisions, easily Jacob deGrom would be a 20-game winner.

Two of the runs that gave deGrom support were from Dominic Smith, including his fifth home run. “He’s unbelievable,” Smith said.  Actually, Jacob deGrom is believable.

So forget about the final record, which overall does not look bad with all the other marks that were established.  This modern day pitcher is the talk of baseball. Again, a travesty if the Cy Young Award of the National League does not go to Jacob deGrom.

“You can’t worry about things you can’t control,” Callaway said. “This Cy Young season is an example of that.”  

But Jacob deGrom controlled his own destiny and Wednesday night he cemented that deal as the best pitcher in the National League and perhaps all of baseball.

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About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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