On a day when the Mets were formally eliminated from postseason play, their Cy Young seeking starter may have come one step closer to the coveted award.
Despite another disappointing no decision, Jacob deGrom extended his single-season major league record streak to 27 starts in which he has allowed three runs or less. The right-hander was removed after seven innings of which he allowed three earned runs on five hits with 12 strikeouts and a walk.
Along with his stingy major league-leading 1.78 ERA and pedestrian 8-9 record, the Mets ace has an unconventional case – one that may be difficult to defend in a court of law. But in the confines of major league baseball the voters will be asked to call into question the relevance of a pitcher’s dominance, regardless of his wins and losses.
Aaron Nola (16 wins) and Max Scherzer (17 wins), both of whom are battling deGrom for the NL prize, have ERAs of 2.42 and 2.53, respectively.
“I have seen what they are doing, and what they do is out of my control,” deGrom said. “I have got to go out there and throw the baseball.”
Sunday he had one bad inning, but kept his composure and left with the score tied 3-3. DeGrom’s shot at a win went south in the eighth, when pinch-runner Jack Reinheimer, the go-ahead run, was picked off first base. An inning earlier, with the go-ahead run at third, Jeff McNeil was the final out diving into first base as he attempted to beat out an infield grounder.
As a team you’re the sum of all of its parts, and unfortunately for deGrom he’s had to sludge through many a games where bats and bullpen arms did not have his back.
“That’s tough,” deGrom said. “I want to win every baseball game I throw, but it hasn’t gone that way for me this year. I definitely like wins, but more importantly you want the team to win when you are pitching and it just hasn’t gone that way for me out there.”
With two more scheduled starts left on the season, deGrom’s fate rests on his grit, the performance of his beleaguered ball club and a bunch of baseball writers who notoriously don’t vote out of the box. Presidents can get elected without winning the popular vote – but there’s no electoral college in baseball.