Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |
We won't be certain until the Cy Young voting results are announced in November. But we know already, right?
Jacob deGrom, pitching in uncharted territory Wednesday night - hey, the Mets scored bushels of runs for him! - put an exclamation point on another historic season in his final start of the year. Now he's poised to win a second straight National League Cy Young Award and join some of the biggest names in pitching history in that rare feat.
He'll also carve out his own spot in Mets lore: No Met pitcher - not even Tom Seaver - has ever won back-to-back Cy Young Awards. And once deGrom wins again, he'll join Seaver as the only Mets pitchers with more than one Cy Young.
DeGrom, who got 29-of-30 first-place votes to win the award last season, threw seven shutout innings against the Marlins, allowing only two hits. It was his third consecutive start with seven shutout innings and he finished his year with 23 straight scoreless frames.
No wonder even deGrom admitted postgame that a second slab of hardware "was kind of in the back of my mind" on Wednesday. But deGrom also worked hard to say the right things following his start, since the Mets were eliminated from postseason contention when the Brewers won. He was as good at that as he is at pitching, describing the mixed emotions of finishing so well personally on a disappointing night for the team.
But it's hard for the rest of us to not be thinking Cy Young, considering the amazing set of statistics he forged.
Here's a look at a few:
- DeGrom finished his season by retiring the final 14 batters he faced. He has 19 starts of seven-plus innings this season, tops in the NL, and 25 starts in which he gave up two earned runs or fewer, also tops. deGrom also threw seven innings in his last eight starts and 12 of his last 13.
- He reached the 200-inning mark for the third consecutive season - he's the only NL pitcher to reach that mark the last three years - and became only the third Mets pitcher to have 250-plus strikeouts in consecutive seasons, along with Seaver and Dwight Gooden.
- He came into the night second in the NL in ERA and lowered it to 2.43. He also came in leading the National League in bWAR and strikeouts. He was second in WHIP, opponent OBP, FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and homers per nine innings. He was fifth in innings pitched.
- Over the past two seasons, deGrom has a 2.05 ERA in 64 starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three other pitchers since 1969 have posted a sub-2.10 ERA over two seasons in which they made at least 60 starts: Gooden in 1984-85 (2.00), Greg Maddux in 1993-94 (2.01) and Clayton Kershaw in 2013-14 (1.80) and 2014-15 (1.96).
Who knows what those numbers would look like if deGrom hadn't stumbled in April. Could he have matched last year's wondrous 1.70 ERA if he had not gotten clobbered in three poor starts against Minnesota, Atlanta and Milwaukee when he went 0-3 with a 9.69 ERA, giving up 14 runs and 18 hits in 13 innings?
DeGrom sounded rueful Wednesday, talking about those poor starts. "I let them get out of hand," he said. "I wish I had them back. Those are the kinds of things you think about."
Just for fun, here's what his ERA would be without those beatings: 1.93.
Even with his actual ERA a half-run higher, he should claim the Cy Young, joining 10 other pitchers who have won it back-to-back. Get a load of these names: Max Scherzer, Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Jim Palmer, Clayton Kershaw, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tim Lincecum and Denny McLain.
Six of them are Hall of Famers, one (Scherzer) will be and there's an argument that Clemens ought to be there, too.
DeGrom also would be the 20th pitcher to win more than one Cy Young Award. Of course, time will tell whether he'll join two-time winners such as Bob Gibson, Roy Halladay and Gaylord Perry in Cooperstown or if he's going to be the author of just a really terrific career, like Bret Saberhagen or Johan Santana.
But two Cy Youngs would put deGrom one away from three. That would be historic, too.