Jacob deGrom Makes a Statement, Ace #1A Demands Your Attention

By: Brian Mangan

Two years and twelve days ago, I asked the following question on this site:

On Matt Harvey’s Tuesday Night Brush With Perfection, Was It The Best by a Met All Time?

Harvey had just pitched a gem, carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning and ending up striking out twelve White Sox over nine scoreless innings, surrendering no walks and just that one (infield) hit. I was in attendance that night, May 7th. It was my birthday. This was also when I thought I could make Happy Harvukkah a thing:

harvukkah small

Anyway. After the game, I wanted to see if Harvey’s performance was objectively the best ever, so I checked the Baseball-Reference logs to see what the highest Game Scores in Mets history were (Game Score takes into account innings, strikeouts, hits, etc. to come up with a single figure). As it turns out, Harvey’s Game Score of 97 was the second highest of all time, trailing only David Cone’s complete game three hitter against the Phillies in 1991.

Yesterday afternoon, I was at Citi Field again, this time to see Jacob deGrom take on a St. Louis offense that was 4th in the National League in runs scored. As you probably know, deGrom was fantastic, striking out eleven and only allowing a single hit, and no walks, just like Harvey. In doing so, deGrom joined an elite pantheon of Mets pitching performances:

degrom harv

Although deGrom’s Game Score doesn’t quite measure up to Harvey’s, given that he pitched one fewer inning and notched one fewer strikeout, he still ended up with a Game Score of 91. This score has been bettered by only five men: Doc Gooden, R.A Dickey, Tom Seaver, David Cone, and Matt Harvey. I’m not sure where the performance fits into my subjective Top 10 list but I’d probably slot it between R.A Dickey’s one-hitter and Johan Santana’s short-rest season-saving complete game against the Marlins in 2008.

I had high hopes for deGrom this year, higher than most, and it is really nice to see him begin to deliver on them. There are only six pitchers in baseball right now with 50+ innings pitched, an ERA below 3, and 8.5 strikeouts per nine… and the Mets have two of them.

degro brefGood company, to be sure.

The fact of the matter is, the Mets need deGrom to be deGrom if they are going to go anywhere this season. With Colon and Niese struggling, and the offense sputtering along, they are going to need to lean on their Aces. And from the looks of it, they can.

*     *     *

Brian Mangan grew up in Flushing and is a lifelong Mets fan. He wonders if his back is wide enough to fit all the letters in S-Y-N-D-E-R-G-A-A-R-D

*     *     *