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deGrom stellar again as dominant run continues

Mets explode for 12 runs to give ace right-hander more than enough support
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

DENVER -- Circumstances had grown unfathomable enough for Jacob deGrom that after the National League Cy Young Award candidate's last start, teammate Todd Frazier approached him to apologize for the Mets' offensive woes. Over a 10-start stretch, deGrom had posted a 0.87 ERA. The Mets were 2-8 in those games.

So it was a completely foreign feeling when, in the seventh inning of a 12-2 blowout over the Rockies on Monday, deGrom joked that he almost didn't want to beat out a fielder's choice because he didn't feel like running the bases. Already with six runs on the board at that time, the Mets had given deGrom as much support as in his previous five starts combined. They went on to add six more to seal up deGrom's first win in exactly one month.

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DENVER -- Circumstances had grown unfathomable enough for Jacob deGrom that after the National League Cy Young Award candidate's last start, teammate Todd Frazier approached him to apologize for the Mets' offensive woes. Over a 10-start stretch, deGrom had posted a 0.87 ERA. The Mets were 2-8 in those games.

So it was a completely foreign feeling when, in the seventh inning of a 12-2 blowout over the Rockies on Monday, deGrom joked that he almost didn't want to beat out a fielder's choice because he didn't feel like running the bases. Already with six runs on the board at that time, the Mets had given deGrom as much support as in his previous five starts combined. They went on to add six more to seal up deGrom's first win in exactly one month.

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"Any time we win is a weight lifted off," deGrom said. "We had a bad stretch there. We've been able to win three in a row, and want to keep this thing going."

No Met has done his part more consistently than deGrom, who was his usual dominant self in limiting the Rockies to two runs -- one earned -- in eight innings. Although he matched his season high in allowing three extra-base hits, only one of those baserunners came around to score. deGrom allowed just two other singles and a walk, striking out seven.

That shaved his Major League-best ERA down to 1.51 -- a tenth of a run better than Justin Verlander and more than half a run below Max Scherzer. His Cy Young credentials are growing stronger by the start; over his last 11 outings, deGrom owns a 0.90 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 18 walks in 70 1/3 innings.

"Arguably, statistically he's the best pitcher in the National League," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "This guy's good. This guy has proven over the last two years that he's in the conversation of one of the best pitchers in baseball."

Because of that, deGrom figures to be a coveted commodity at the Trade Deadline if the Mets fall further out of contention. A source said Monday that the team plans to listen to offers on all of its veteran players, though the Mets have been reticent in years past to discuss dealing deGrom, who remains under team control for two more seasons.

While the club's decision-makers consider deGrom part of their 2019 core, they could look to sell high, understanding as well as any team the fragility of pitching. But they also know that will become moot if the Mets climb back into contention -- which deGrom, as much as anyone, has the power to help them do.

Dominant stretches like this have happened before for deGrom, but never have they lasted so long. Manager Mickey Callaway compared deGrom's current success to what Indians ace Corey Kluber achieved last year, posting a 1.62 ERA over his final 23 starts to win the American League Cy Young.

Said Callaway: "This is pretty special. You don't see this often."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom