How many more times can this happen to Jacob deGrom before he blows a gasket?
The New York Mets’ ace and arguably the best pitcher in baseball spun yet another gem on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field, allowing just a single earned run — a Jazz Chisholm homer — in eight innings pitched while tying a career-high with 14 strikeouts.
He lowered his ERA to 0.64 on the season; his second start that brought his season total up to 14 innings in total.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner also lowered his ERA in day games to 1.80, which is currently the lowest in MLB history.
Yet his season record now stands at 0-1 after the Mets bats couldn’t do a thing against the Miami Marlins in a 3-0 loss. Another wasted deGrom gem for a Mets team that has done absolutely nothing to take advantage of just how good their ace is.
There have been 149 instances in the history of Major League Baseball in which a starting pitcher yielded two or fewer earned runs while striking out at least 13 batters, only to lose that game.
For deGrom, Saturday was his fifth such start in his career in which that dubious phenomenon happened — again, more of an indictment on the team around him than the pitcher himself. Only Randy Johnson (15) and Nolan Ryan (9) have had more losing decisions that have fit those parameters. Granted, Johnson started 418 more games than deGrom currently has while Ryan started 588 more contests.
He also has sported a 2.06 ERA in games started since the start of the 2018 season and somehow, the Mets are six games under .500 in those starts at 36-42.
The next three pitchers with the lowest ERA’s during that stretch, Hyun-Jin Ryu (2.33), Justin Verlander (2.56), and Gerrit Cole (2.67) have seen their teams post records of 20 games over .500 or better.
That’s what happens when your team doesn’t score any runs for you. Saturday was the 59th time out 185 career starts that deGrom has received two or fewer runs of support from his offense.
Any normal human would show some sort of frustration at the constant lack of support from a team that’s left you out to dry on so many occasions — nearly 30% of his starts.
But there was deGrom, after another nightmare outing from his teammates, putting the blame on his shoulders.
“I’m more frustrated about the fastball that was hit for a homer,” deGrom said of his lone blemish on the day. “That’s what kind of eats at me the most, giving up that run there.”
There’s a reason why he’s the best in the business, even if his team has been anything but that for the majority of his career.