Imagine being the best player on the field just about every time you compete. You have a record breaking season in progress and yet somehow you are receiving almost no recognition at all. That may seem hard to believe, however it is a reality for New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom. He is currently in his fourth season with the Mets and is having a historic season while leading the league in multiple categories, though the award given to the league’s best pitcher will almost certainly go to someone else.
Each year the Cy Young award is given to the best pitcher in the American and National leagues. The award has been won by many of baseball’s all-time great players and hall of famers. Pedro Martinez won the award three times, Randy Johnson won it four times and Roger Clemens has won a record seven Cy Young awards. The award is named after Cy Young who pitched from 1890-1911, and during his career recorded a major league record 511 wins.
Ironically in 2018, it will be the number of wins that deGrom has that will be the factor that keeps him from winning the award. Following his start on September 3rd against the Los Angeles Dodgers, deGrom currently sits with a record of only 8-8. The eight wins that deGrom has means that he is tied for 26th in the National League, and only has half the wins that current Cy Young award favorite Max Scherzer has.
You may be wondering that with a record of 8-8, why anyone should think deGrom is worthy of any recognition? That answer is quite simple, if you look at the remainder of his statistics. deGrom is the league leader in ERA and only averages 1.68 runs per nine innings, the next closest pitcher allows 2.23 runs. He is actually one of only two pitchers in the entire major leagues with an ERA under two runs per game. deGrom is also second in the league in strikeouts with 230 and is second in the league in innings pitched with 188. Lastly, he leads the league in what I believe to be the most important statistic, WPA (win probability added) with 5.1 wins added to his team over any other player.
Just this past Monday deGrom tied a major league record with 25 consecutive starts with allowing three runs or less. With such good personal statistics, it is not unreasonable to wonder why his record is so mediocre. This is quite simply due to the fact that his team is one of the worst in the league. The New York Mets have a record of 62-75 which is currently third to last in the National League. In fact, the Mets offense seems to be even worse when deGrom is on the mound, as only two pitchers in the league have less runs scored by their team while they are pitching.
In 2018 Jacob deGrom has so far accomplished something we have only seen a handful of times in major league history, and doing so while not having pitched in a really meaningful game in months. deGrom’s whole body of work should stand for itself and allow him the opportunity to win the Cy Young award. However, I fear he will be punished due to the team he pitches for and it will be up to the voters to prove me wrong.
NOTE: All Statistics accurate as of 9/4/18 and from ESPN.com