Jacob deGrom finished off one of the greatest individual pitching seasons in MLB history Wednesday with eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 win against the Braves at Citi Field, during which he yielded only two hits while walking none and striking out 10. It was a fitting end to the 30-year-old
Jacob deGrom finished off one of the greatest individual pitching seasons in MLB history Wednesday with eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 win against the Braves at Citi Field, during which he yielded only two hits while walking none and striking out 10. It was a fitting end to the 30-year-old right-hander's 2018 campaign, further bolstering his already strong candidacy for the National League Cy Young Award.
Here's what you need to know about deGrom's historic season:
• deGrom finished the year with 32 games started, 217 innings pitched and a 1.70 ERA. Since Major League Baseball lowered the mound for the 1969 season, only two pitchers have made at least 30 starts, or pitched at least 210 innings, with an ERA as low as deGrom's.
The first of those is another Mets great: Dwight Gooden, who had a 1.53 ERA in 276 2/3 innings over 35 starts in 1985. The other is Zack Greinke, who had a 1.66 ERA in 222 2/3 innings over 32 starts for the Dodgers in 2015.
• deGrom became only the 11th qualified starting pitcher in the last 100 years to finish a season with an ERA of 1.70 or below, joining Greinke (1.66 in 2015), Greg Maddux (1.56 in 1994, 1.63 in 1995), Gooden (1.53 in 1985), Nolan Ryan (1.60 in 1981), Luis Tiant (1.69 in 1968), Bob Gibson (1.12 in 1968), Dean Chance (1.65 in 1964), Spud Chandler (1.64 in 1943), Carl Hubbell (1.66 in 1933) and Walter Johnson (1.27 in 1918, 1.49 in 1919).
• With a record of 10-9, deGrom became the first pitcher in MLB history to start 20 or more games in a season with an ERA of 1.70 or below and record 10 wins or fewer.
• deGrom ended the season on a run of 29 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer. That's the longest single-season streak in MLB history, and tied for the longest streak overall -- Jacob Arrieta also went 29 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer from 2015-16.
Additionally, deGrom's last 24 starts were all quality starts -- at least six innings pitched, no more than three earned runs allowed -- which is also the longest single-season streak in MLB history. It's the third-longest quality start streak overall, with Gibson holding the record (26 straight quality starts from 1967-68).
• deGrom finished the season with 269 strikeouts, the fourth-highest single-season total in Mets franchise history. Only Tom Seaver in 1971 (289) and '70 (283), and Gooden in 1984 (276), have had more in a year. Those are also the only Mets pitchers with as many double-digit-strikeout games in a season as deGrom's 12 in 2018, the last of which came Wednesday night. Gooden had 15 games with 10-plus strikeouts in 1984, and Seaver had 13 in '71 and 12 in '70.
• The Mets' ace did it all: Kept runs off the scoreboard (1.70 ERA), struck batters out (269 K's), issued few free passes (46 walks) and gave up few long balls (10 home runs allowed). He's the only pitcher in MLB's modern era -- that's since 1900 -- with a sub-2.00 ERA, 260 or more strikeouts, 50 or fewer walks and 10 or fewer home runs allowed in a season.
• deGrom's ability to keep the ball in the ballpark stands out in this homer-happy environment. He's the first pitcher since 2015 to start at least 30 games and give up no more than 10 big flies, and he did not allow more than one in any of his outings.
• The last strikeout of deGrom's 2018 season -- which came on the last batter he faced -- was also the 1,000th of his career. No Mets pitcher has reached the 1,000-K mark faster than the 897 2/3 innings it took deGrom. And only three active pitchers in the Major Leagues have gotten to 1,000 career strikeouts faster than deGrom -- Yu Darvish (812 innings), Stephen Strasburg (855 1/3 innings) and Chris Sale (872 innings).
• Of course, part of deGrom's story this season was his lack of support. Of his MLB-high 13 starts in which he pitched at least seven innings and allowed no more than one run, he was not credited with a win in eight of them. That doubled the total of any other MLB pitcher, and tied for the most by any pitcher in a season, since at least 1908, with Roger Craig of the '63 Mets.
• The degree of difficulty for deGrom might be best summed up this way: As first noticed by Tim Britton of The Athletic, the 32 starters who opposed deGrom this season combined for a 2.45 ERA over 173 innings. That ERA would currently tie Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola for second among qualified NL starters, behind only deGrom himself.
• An astounding 70.1 percent of deGrom's pitches this year came in situations where either the tying or go-ahead run was either on base or at the plate, second only to Arizona's Robbie Ray among starters who have thrown at least 2,000 total pitches.
• deGrom was of course tremendous at Citi Field, dropping his ERA there to 1.54 with Wednesday's performance. But deGrom was nearly as untouchable away from that pitcher-friendly environment. His 1.87 road ERA led all pitchers with at least 75 innings.
• deGrom never faltered throughout the season, with his highest monthly ERA (2.36) coming June. September (1.80) is his third consecutive month with a sub-2.00 ERA to finish the season.
• New York's ace rose to the occasion against baseball's best. Wednesday's performance against the NL East champion Braves dropped his season ERA to 1.79 against teams with a .500 or better record. The next-closest pitcher in that regard (minimum 100 innings) is Washington's Max Scherzer with a 2.58 ERA against high-caliber clubs.
• deGrom struck out 10 Braves batters Wednesday, pushing his season total against Atlanta to 50 in six starts, by far his most against any team in 2018. The Marlins are next, with 31 strikeouts in four starts, followed by the Nationals (25 in three starts), Cubs (23 in two starts) and Yankees (20 in two starts). The individual players with the most strikeouts by deGrom this season are Dansby Swanson (five in 10 at-bats) and Greg Bird (five in six at-bats).
• Opponents finished 0-for-13 with nine strikeouts in bases-loaded situations against deGrom. The last time deGrom even faced a bases-loaded situation was July 23, and the last hit he allowed with the bases loaded was to then-Mariner Jarrod Dyson on July 29, 2017.
• Queens' hero was as dominant at the end of games as he was at the beginning. Opponents compiled a .164 batting average against deGrom within his first 25 pitches of the game, and a .122 average against him from his 101st pitch of a game and beyond.
• As deGrom wraps up a historic season, it's time to start paying further attention to the overall start to his career. Wednesday marked the 64th start in which the right-hander has allowed one or zero runs, which is the most of any pitcher through his first 139 career outings.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSimonMLB.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.