New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom rightfully became his team’s lone representative at the 2018 MLB All-Star Game when the rosters were revealed on Sunday night.
The 30-year-old is experiencing the finest season of his career and one of the best pitching campaigns in Mets franchise history.
He leads the league with a 1.79 ERA, ranks third among both pitchers and position players in with a 5.4 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) mark and eighth with 142 strikeouts and a 0.988 WHIP.
Obviously, that puts him in contention for the National League’s Cy Young Award. The problem is that the team around him might cost him.
In 18 starts this season, deGrom is just 5-4 despite allowing one run or fewer in 13 of those outings. Somehow, the Mets are 7-11 in games he’s started this season. Much of that has to do with an offensively challenged lineup that is giving him just 3.83 runs of support per outing and a bullpen whose ERA ranks 26th in the majors.
It has deGrom on pace for just nine wins this season.
There has never been a starting pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball that has won less than 10 games and won the Cy Young Award.
But deGrom is poised to win the ERA title which could make him either the least-supported or unluckiest starting pitcher to lead the majors in ERA.
Dating back to 1876, the first year of the National League and what is considered modern-day Major League Baseball, there have been only four starting pitchers in the game’s history to win his league’s ERA title with a mark under 2.00 and win less than 10 games. Take note of the lack of starts these pitchers had in their respective seasons, making the possibility of deGrom’s season even more puzzling:
Year: 1881 (84-game season)
Team: Detroit Wolverines
Year: 1886 (122-game season)
Team: St. Louis Maroons
Year: 1902 (135-game season)
Team: Detroit Tigers
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Starts: 14 (season cut short after being called into military service)