Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom surpassed 200 innings pitched for the season during Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Nationals at Citi Field.
DeGrom was charged with two earned runs and lasted six innings Sunday, giving him a total of 201.1 innings pitched for the year. Also Sunday, by striking out 11 batters, deGrom became just the fifth Mets pitcher to have 11 double-digit strikeout games in a single season.
"It's definitely big for me," deGrom said of reaching the 200-inning milestone. "We've got plans to hopefully go to the World Series next year, and that's something I wanted to get to, to know what it's like to pitch that many innings in a year."
In 2015, deGrom logged 216 innings for the year, but 25 occurred in the postseason. The next year, deGrom ended his season in September to have surgery on his elbow.
This season, during which Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz again missed time on the disabled list, deGrom has not missed a start.
You never know what to expect coming off surgery, so being healthy this year was definitely a big plus," said deGrom, who claimed he learned to better pace himself this season.
According to Collins, to be an ace, a pitcher has to be on the mound every fifth day, which is most people in baseball hold the 200-inning mark in such high regard.
"Certainly with the breakdown of the pitching staff, he's turned into the ace," Collins added. "He became the guy you turned to. ... and I think you're going to look up in a few years and that's going to be Jacob deGrom's motif. You know you're going to get 200-plus out of him, and they're going to be quality innings."
In his last three starts, deGrom is 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP and 28 strike outs in 19 innings against the Reds, Braves and Nationals.
Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): DeGrom will be in serious consideration for a Cy Young award next season. I say this because, in many ways, despite him struggling at times, 2017 may have been his best season on a mound.
Statistically, this is not true, of course. He will end this year with his worst-ever ERA. However, I hear in him a guy that learned to manage himself better than ever before, in addition to furthering his ability to manage innings and opposing batters. And, I think when he hits spring training next season - when he's healthy and wise, and again feeling confident and challenged by the presence of Matz, Syndergaard, Wheeler and Harvey - he's going to find an extra gear and have an amazing season.