Mets ace Jacob deGrom enters Spring Training as the reigning Cy Young Award winner after an absolutely dominant 2018 season. So what changed last year that elevated deGrom's game to arguably be the best pitcher in the league?
With deGrom having discussed his thoughts on his contract situation in a press conference last week and not much changing on that front, he took time to reflect on 2018 in a 1-on-1 with SNY's Steve Gelbs. DeGrom said having a short memory when he made mistakes helped him stay locked in at all times this past year.
"I think just looking back at those starts that I let get out of hand and kinda what happened in those," deGrom said. "I go back to 2017, I think I had a seven and eight-run start, back-to-back and kinda watching what I did: bad body language, speeding up, not trying to control what I can control. I had already given up some runs and I was still thinking about them instead of focusing on the pitch I was about to throw."
DeGrom didn't see those seven- or eight-run games at all in 2018. In fact, he strung together 29 straight starts allowing three runs or less -- a new Major League record.
After capturing his first Cy Young, deGrom is heading into the new season looking to defend his title. Another Cy Young in his possession means he is helping his team to the best of his abilities once again.
"Yeah, I do. Honestly I said that before I had won one," deGrom told Gelbs when asked if his goal is to win the Cy Young again. "That was the goal, win a Cy Young. I think every starting pitcher -- or pitcher in that case -- that's a goal of theirs. And I feel like when I'm at my best, then it's going to help the team. So take that mindset out there. You set personal goals as long as team goals. That's definitely a goal of mine."