Jacob deGrom is making history

Whether he ultimately wins the Cy Young award or not, Jacob deGrom is having a season for the ages. The numbers he’s putting up don’t just put him among the league leaders this season, but also in select company historically. He’s also been setting some new Mets standards as well.

deGrom’s scintillating 1.68 ERA is by far the lowest among pitchers in Major League Baseball. Chris Sale is the only other qualified pitcher below 2 and just barely at 1.97. Bob Gibson’s 1.12 ERA in 1968 is the lowest season ERA recorded by a qualified starting pitcher in the modern era. No other starter has ever finished below 1.50 and just two have completed seasons with below 1.60 – Dwight Gooden and Greg Maddux. Only nine qualifying starting pitchers in the modern era have completed seasons with an ERA below 1.75 – Gibson, Gooden, Maddux (twice), Luis Tiant, Spud Chandler, Dean Chance, Zack Grienke, Carl Hubbell and Nolan Ryan. Those 10 seasons resulted in six Cy Young awards and two MVPs. deGrom has a chance to join that group.

In Mets history, only two qualified starting pitchers have registered season ERAs below 2. Dwight Gooden, in his 1985 Cy Young season, finished with a 1.53 ERA and Tom Seaver, in the second of his three Cy Young seasons, finished with a 1.76 ERA. Both of those Mets pitchers had the benefit of run support and each were 20-game winners, making their Cy Young candidacy a slam dunk, but that’s another matter.

With four or five starts remaining, deGrom will have a chance to pad his impressive season strikeout total as well. He currently stands at 230, fourth in MLB behind Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Tom Seaver’s single season Mets record of 289 seems pretty safe, but then he threw 286.1 innings that season which is unheard of now. deGrom is on pace to finish with 271 strikeouts in 222 innings. That’s better than 11 K/9. Yes, Scherzer is a bit better in that department, but when you factor in other peripherals, like deGrom’s 2.01 BB/9, 6.65 H/9 and 0.43 HR/9, his season looks more impressive, despite somehow not yet reaching double digit wins.

deGrom is also achieving many personal bests as he’s on pace to finish with career highs in game starts, innings pitched and strikeouts, and career lows in ERA, BAA, and WHIP. My favorite stat of all? Opponents slugging percentage – .289. Hopefully he gets a trophy to go along with these impressive numbers.

 

14 comments for “Jacob deGrom is making history

  1. Metsense
    September 7, 2018 at 9:31 am

    The best pitcher I have ever seen is Sandy Koufax. The 1989 mercurial Doc Gooden was a dominating pitcher for that year. The most comparison pitcher to degrom was The Franchise, Tom Seaver. Degrom and Seaver have the same makeup They’d just won’t Give Up or lose . The “deGominater”is definitely the Cy Young winner in the National League.

    • Steve S.
      September 7, 2018 at 10:24 am

      I looked up Fangraphs “ERA-” stats for these pitchers. deGrom is right up there. ERA- is park and league adjusted, with 100 the average; the lower the better:

      Gibson (1968) 38
      deGrom (2018) 44
      Sale (2018) 44
      Seaver (1971) 52
      Koufax (1964 & 1966) 53
      Scherzer (2018) 55
      Nola (2108) 56

      Wow! And look at Sale’s figure!

      • Steve S.
        September 7, 2018 at 4:53 pm

        Oops, I forgot Doc Gooden (1985) 44

        • Steve S.
          September 7, 2018 at 8:47 pm

          And Pedro Martinez (2000) 35! Best of all?

  2. Chris F
    September 7, 2018 at 9:55 am

    He’s just so good, so unshakeable. He is CY for 2018 for sure if he keep this rolling.

    He is an absolute joy to watch, and must be a fearful beast to have to face from inside the box.

    • MattyMets
      September 7, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Chris F – I’ve had the privilege of seeing deGrom pitch up close a few times and had the same thought about what it must be like to face him. He strides so long to the plate like Randy Johnson so 98 must feel like 110 and then his fastball has so much movement on top of it. You have to be be hyper ready for that fastball and then, look out here comes a biting slider or sinking changeup or a surprise little curveball.

  3. TexasGusCC
    September 7, 2018 at 10:06 am

    One thing I saw last night that had me rubbing my eyes:
    BABIP Scherzer: .248
    BABIP Nola: .256
    BABIP DeGrom: .290

    This can be looked at as to how dominant Scherzer is when they even hit the ball, or how much luckier he has been. For the record, Syndergaard is at .344 and Wheeler at .288.

    Blake Snell is at .246, Verlander at ..274, Sale at .277, Kluber at .264 and most guys are around .290 except for Severino’s .317 and Carasco’s .320.

  4. September 7, 2018 at 10:39 am

    I can joyfully imagine what the Wilpons must be thinking for 2019. Cringing with each K and QS deGrom pitches. I hope he takes them to the cleaners.He deserves the Cy Young. Scherzer gives up to many gopher balls and had a supposedly superior offense to achieve his 16 wins. He might win 20 but deGrom is the better pitcher

    • TexasGusCC
      September 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Actually, if DeGrom wants to take them to the cleaners, he will be signing his next contract in two years. A smart man, would give up a few bucks to lock up a life setting deal.

      I understand that he can get around $30MM in the market, but in order to risk against injury, would he do 5/$110, forgoing two years of arbitration? I would.

  5. José
    September 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm
  6. Alan
    September 7, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 ERA in 2000. Not sure how this season was forgotten since it was only the most dominant ever by ERA + (291).

    • MattyMets
      September 8, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Alan, Pedro’s season was particularly impressive given that he was pitching against a bunch of juiced up linebackers.

  7. Pete from NJ
    September 7, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    A couple of thoughts:
    1) sound silly but I wish deGrom saved his best season for next year when it means something to a (possibly} winning team.
    2 Seaver’s 1971 team was a rich pitching/poor hitting team much like the present version of the good guys.
    3) Dwight Goodens 1985 season as I recall was more dynamic than this year deGrom.
    4) Instead of memories, I just looked up all three player’s statistics. deGrom’s season is just as dynamic or maybe even more so comparing WIP, K/9, ERA, H/9
    Maybe only Gooden’s age and Seaver’s yearly performance makes my perceptions inaccurate.

    • Mike Walczak
      September 7, 2018 at 5:21 pm

      deGrom is a much better pitcher than Gooden. Gooden had a fastball thay was straight as an arrow but had a very good curve ball. Gooden relied on high heat on 85 to get a lot of his strikeouts. They started to lay off after that though in conjunction with Gooden’s nose problem.

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