NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — After a season marred by both costly injuries and unrealized expectations, the Mets at long last received perhaps the spark they need to head into the offseason hot stove with some much needed momentum.
Major League Baseball on Wednesday announced Amazins ace Jacob deGrom has won the 2018 National League Cy Young Award, a rare bright spot punctuating an otherwise dour season for the club from Queens.
Despite a pedestrian 10-9 record, the fewest wins ever for a Cy Young winning starter, the 30-year-old righty amassed one of the most statistically impressive seasons of the modern era. DeGrom punched out 269 batters and compiled a paltry 1.70 ERA to go along with a 0.912 WHIP in 217 innings pitched, according to BaseballReference.com.
DeGrom allowed three runs or fewer in 29 consecutive starts to close the season, breaking Leslie “King” Cole’s 108-year-old record of 26 such outings. Yet the Mets were 11-18 in those games and 14-18 overall with deGrom on the mound.
“My thought process was, ‘Hey, take the ball every fifth day and continue to try to put this team in position to win and control what you can control,'” deGrom said.
Over the last 50 years, only five pitchers have posted a lower ERA than deGrom’s in 2018. They are Zack Greinke (1.66 in 2015), Greg Maddux (1.63 in 1995 and 1.56 in 1994), Dwight Gooden (1.53 in 1985), Nolan Ryan (1.69 in 1981) and Bob Gibson (1.12 in 1968). Of those, only Greinke (Jake Arrieta, 22-6, 1.77 ERA) and Ryan (Valenzuela) didn’t win the Cy Young.
As far as where deGrom stacks up in Mets history, his single-season ERA ranks only behind Gooden’s Cy Young-winning season in ’85, among starting pitchers.
DeGrom also joined Pedro Martinez as the only other pitcher since earned runs became an official stat with an ERA less than 2.00, at least 250 strikeouts and fewer than 50 walks in a season.
For advanced stat-heads, the ace finished second among all pitchers with 9.6 wins above replacement (WAR), behind only the Phillies’ Aaron Nola.
DeGrom squared off against fellow National League finalists Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Nola.
Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays narrowly beat out past winners Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber for his first AL Cy Young after leading the majors with 21 victories.
The Mets will be giving away bobblehead dolls to the first 25,000 fans in attendance on Sunday, April 7th in honor of deGrom.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)