Jacob deGrom couldn't deliver the win the Mets were hoping for on Thursday night, but he has managed to pitch his way firmly into the NL Cy Young discussion over the season's second half.
DeGrom allowed four earned runs over seven innings, with two home run balls by Victor Caratini being the difference in the game. He finished the night with a season ERA of 2.66, down over two runs from his 4.85 ERA on May 1.
The Mets haven't given deGrom a lot of run support this season (something that's becoming an unsettling trend), but the right-hander has been tremendous since the All-Star break, pitching to a 1.04 ERA in eight second half starts prior to Thursday's loss.
Meanwhile, Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has been the presumed Cy Young favorite basically all season long, was hit hard again on Thursday and is trending in the opposite direction.
Ryu allowed seven earned in just 4.2 innings against the Diamondbacks, raising his ERA from 1.64 to 2.35 in his last two starts. He's now allowed 18 earned runs in his last 14.2 innings.
While win-loss record may be in Ryu's favor, many of the stats point towards deGrom, who has recorded 214 strikeouts on the season, compared to Ryu's 137 punchouts. They both have identical WHIPs of 1.02.
Of course, others are in the mix, such as Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, and Mike Soroka, but it will be very interesting to see how things shake out down the stretch, and whether or not deGrom can take home his second straight Cy Young award.