If the baseball season does go off in the next three weeks, Mets ace Jacob deGrom will be going for history.
A third straight Cy Young award, which will put him in the company of Greg Maddox and Randy Johnson, both Hall of Famers.
But the 2020 season is no ordinary one and the righthander knows this will be a little different.
“I would say that there definitely has to be some difference there. You know, 12 starts versus 32 or however many you get, 33 sometimes,” deGrom said on a Zoom call today. “I think that’s less than half so there’s a lot that can happen in any given start, so you normally play 162 games and 200 innings. I don’t think it would feel the same but it’s definitely still a goal.”
It may not feel the same, but at the end of the day, the size of the trophy will still be the same size and yes, it will count in the history books.
But deGrom will have to go about it differently. This 60 game sprint, is almost like a pennant race run with all the teams tied at the trade deadline. His mentality will have to be a down the stretch one, instead of the marathon of a season.
“That’s what I think, as far as players, really stinks kind of with what happened,” he said. “It’s a very unfortunate situation throughout the world (with) this whole virus, but as a player you have a short window to kind of perform and be competitive… I guess you take it as from the All-Star Break on and just go out there and do all you can do and hopefully maybe win another one.”
The Cy Young award is an individual achievement and deGrom would probably trade all of them for that World Series ring. He had a chance five years ago, but now he may have another one. The way the Mets have gone about there business, COVID-19 was not been a concern at Citi Field. The Mets are taking all the precautions possible, while trying to get ready for this sprint.
“So far I’ve been comfortable,” deGrom said about the beginning Summer Camp. “I think we’re spaced out really well here and kind of how the workouts and stuff have been going where there’s a couple different groups, I’ve felt safe and comfortable so far.”
And that includes his family with two small children. Everyone is taking the precautions to make sure everyone is safe.
“I think even at home and throughout this whole process (I’ve) kind of taken every safety measure that has been advised, so just trying to follow the rules and keep myself as safe as possible along with my family,” he said. “They’ve stayed home quite a bit, so haven’t been out too much or around a lot of people.”
Sure, it’s only been four days and sure, everyone seems happy right now, including deGrom. That can change in an instant, especially if a player of two comes down with COVID.
Right now, though, the Mets are looking to play and compete and hopefully make it to October in this 60-game sprint.
“I think everybody would like to play. I think that’s the goal, to play baseball and so far what I’ve seen here with the steps that we’re taking,” he said. “I can’t speak for other clubs or what not, but I feel like if we follow the rules that are set in place here that there should be a good chance of seeing baseball.”
And if at the end of the season, deGrom has another Cy Young award in his pocket, well so much the better.
No matter how different this season plays out.