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A year ago today: deGrom ties Gibson, homers

@AndrewSimonMLB
April 3, 2020

To help fill the baseball void, we’re flipping the calendar back one year to remind us all just how awesome our great game is. Here's a look back at the best of April 3, 2019: Jacob deGrom has been putting himself among some awfully impressive company in recent years. In

To help fill the baseball void, we’re flipping the calendar back one year to remind us all just how awesome our great game is. Here's a look back at the best of April 3, 2019:

Jacob deGrom has been putting himself among some awfully impressive company in recent years.

In 2019, the Mets right-hander would become the 11th pitcher to win consecutive Cy Young Awards, and one of his many great performances came one year ago today, in a 6-4 win at Miami.

By firing seven scoreless innings, deGrom tied legendary Hall of Famer Bob Gibson’s Major League record of 26 straight quality starts, which Gibson completed in 1968’s “Year of the Pitcher,” when he posted a 1.12 ERA. While a quality start only requires at least six innings with no more than three earned runs allowed, deGrom matched the record in style. He had all his stuff working, allowing just three hits, walking one, and striking out a career-high 14.

No Mets pitcher had racked up that many K’s in a game since John Maine in 2007, and deGrom didn’t stop there. For good measure, he helped his cause with his second career home run, a solo shot off Trevor Richards in the third inning.

deGrom joined the impressive quartet of Madison Bumgarner, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver and Gibson as the only pitchers to homer and strike out at least 14 in the same game since 1969, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Alas, the Twins ended deGrom’s streak in his next start, and he endured a brief rough patch. But in his final 27 starts beginning May 1, he posted a 2.07 ERA (and hit another homer), on his way to collecting more hardware.

Best of the rest

A pair of pitching duels: A 1-0 score was not a common occurrence in 2019. There were just 33 throughout the season, accounting for just 1.4% of all games, and this was one of only two days (along with Aug. 11) to feature multiple 1-0 finals.

In Cincinnati, the Brewers’ Freddy Peralta flung fastball after fastball -- 84 of them in all -- and Reds batters could do absolutely nothing with them. Peralta allowed two hits, walked none and struck out 11 over eight scoreless innings to outduel Luis Castillo (seven innings, one run, nine strikeouts), making Manny Piña’s second-inning RBI single hold up for most of the afternoon.

At Tropicana Field, a nifty matchup between the Rockies’ German Márquez (seven innings, three hits, seven K’s) and the Rays’ Charlie Morton (six innings, four hits, six K’s) gave way to a battle of the bullpens. Finally, Colorado’s Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer in the top of the 11th, and Wade Davis closed it out in the bottom half.

Nats “walk” off: Throughout a championship season, there are so many contributors who earn their rings -- even if they aren’t around come October. Take Jake Noll. A surprise entry on the Opening Day roster thanks to some injuries, the 25-year-old infielder ultimately went 2-for-12 in eight games and spent the vast majority of the season back at Triple-A Fresno. But he enjoyed a memorable moment on this day, drawing a walk-off walk -- Washington’s first in 11 years -- against veteran Phillies reliever David Robertson to cap a Nationals rally.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.