For a moment, I want you to forget about the names Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola, three of the best arms in the National League as I prove to you how worthless a pitcher’s win-loss record is.
Below is a list of three pitchers, their stats other than their record simply laid before you for your viewing pleasure:
Pitcher A: 188.0 innings pitched, 1.68 ERA, 230 K’s, 0.963 WHIP, .204 opponent’s batting average, 0.4 home runs per nine innings
Pitcher B: 193.2 innings pitched, 2.28 ERA, 260 K’s, 0.878 WHIP, .179 opponent’s batting average, 1.0 home runs per nine innings
Pitcher C: 181.2 innings pitched, 2.23 ERA, 188 K’s, 0.974 WHIP, .198 opponent’s batting average, 0.5 home runs per nine innings
Who wins the Cy Young?
I would vote for Pitcher A due to a sterling ERA that simply is not seen too often in Major League Baseball history.
In fact, over the last 100 years dating back to 1918, one year before the end of the dead ball era, a pitcher has put up an ERA of 1.68 or lower just 11 times. If you want to take out Walter Johnson’s 1918 and 1919 seasons with the Washington Senators seeing as pitch manipulation was rampant, make it nine.
Scherzer and Nola were pitchers B and C while the Mets ace deGrom was pitcher A. The 30-year-old lowered his minuscule ERA behind a one-run, two-hit performance over six innings against the offensively-savvy Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night.
Due to a lack of offense that provides little to no support, deGrom once again was handed a no-decision as his record remains at 8-8, an unheard of win-loss mark given a historic earned run average. But that’s what you get when your team provides you an average of 3.57 runs per start, third-worst among all pitchers in Major League Baseball.
By comparison, Scherzer is 16-6 for the Nationals this year while Philadelphia’s Nola is 15-4
Going back to those nine pitchers since 1918 with lower single-season ERA’s than deGrom, Greg Maddux of the Atlanta Braves had the least amount of wins in 1994 when he picked up 16 with a 1.56 ERA. That’s double deGrom’s win total and it still led the league during the strike-shortened season.
To add even more history to deGrom’s Cy Young campaign, Monday night marked the 25th-consecutive start in which he allowed three earned runs or fewer, tying the mark set by King Cole of the Chicago Cubs in 1910. That year, Cole led the league with a 1.80 ERA.
He also went 20-4.
In the last 25 starts, deGrom is 6-8 with 11 no-decisions. He is even doing the work himself at the plate, driving in four runs in his last six outings. His offense drove in just 10 combined runs during those four games.
Had deGrom been surrounded by a competent offense, or organization, this is a player who would have at least 18 wins with three weeks left in the season. Just off his ERA alone and his sheer dominance to limit the opposition, even when he’s not his best, Jacob deGrom should be awarded the National League Cy Young Award.