Jacob deGrom dazzles the Phillies as his legendary stature only continues to grow
deGrom struck out ten batters on Saturday, the 55th double-digit strikeout game of his career
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets edged the Phillies 1-0 in a thrilling pitchers duel at Citi Field on Saturday night (box)
Jacob deGrom started for the Mets and was brilliant over six innings, allowing just two hits with ten strikeouts, retiring 16 batters in a row during one stretch
Aaron Nola was nearly equal to the task for the Phillies - he was brilliant over eight innings while allowing just one run and four hits with eight strikeouts for a complete-game loss - it was the first complete game by a Phillies pitcher since Kyle Kendrick threw a complete-game shutout against the Mets on April 26, 2013
Pete Alonso drove in the only run of the game with an RBI single in the first inning
Saturday’s 1-0 win for New York was their first nine-inning, 1-0 win since July 24, 2020 (opening day) against the Braves
The Mets are now 39-19 at home, 10-3 in August, 58-11 when scoring first, 16-12 in one-run games, 65-0 when leading after eight innings, 38-15 against the National League East, 11-34 when scoring three or fewer runs, 16-5 since the All-Star Game, 31-9 following a loss, earned their 15th shutout of the season and are 10-4 against the Phillies, clinching the season series against them
Roster Moves 📰
Signed OF Travis Jankowski to a minor league contract
Injury Updates 🏥
Tommy Hunter began a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton on Saturday - he allowed one hit with a strikeout in one scoreless inning
Eduardo Escobar received an MRI on his injured side muscle - there was no concern with the results of the scan and he is day-to-day
Who’s Hot 🔥
Pete Alonso now has 31st go-ahead RBI, the most in baseball and his 23rd game-winning RBI which is ten more than any other player in the sport
Edwin Díaz extended his scoreless streak to 20 consecutive outings - he’s allowed three walks (two last night), seven hits and hit one batter during that span, having struck out 58 percent of the batters he’s faced
Seth Lugo has allowed just two runs in his last 11 relief appearances, a span of 10.2 IP. Opponents are hitting just .211 against him during that span
All about that Jake… ⚡️
Jacob deGrom allowed two earned runs or fewer in his last 22 home starts, the longest such streak in MLB history
deGrom recorded his 55th career double-digit strikeout game on Saturday - he is five away from tying Tom Seaver’s franchise record. He has recorded a double-digit strikeout game in 14 of his 30 starts since the beginning of the 2020 season
He is now 9-1 with a 2.18 ERA in 20 career starts against the Phillies, the lowest mark among active pitchers against Philadelphia
deGrom had a 43 percent swing-and-miss rate on Saturday (44 swings overall, 19 swings-and-misses)
Has nine starts while allowing two or fewer hits and ten or more strikeouts since 2015, tied for second-most since 2015
Has allowed three runs or fewer in 34 of his last 35 starts at Citi Field (1.59 ERA during that span)
deGrom has made 53 straight starts while allowing four runs or fewer and eight hits or fewer, the second-longest streak ever - Rich Hill did it 59 straight time between May 4, 2019 and May 25, 2022
Last night was the first time deGrom ever earned the win in a 1-0 game (Sarah Langs, MLB.com)
deGrom now has 802 strikeouts since the start of the 2018 season, the seventh-most during that span - his 1.93 ERA is the lowest in the sport during that span
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 74-40 and lead the Braves by 5.5 games in the National League East with 48 games to go. They are on-pace for 105 wins, which would be the second-highest mark in franchise history (108 in 1986)
The Mets have the fourth-easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.480 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon)
Playoff odds (Baseball Reference):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent
Win the National League East: 85.9 percent
Win the National League pennant: 24 percent
Win the World Series: 12 percent
Note: FanGraphs did not have updated playoff odds as of this writing
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (74-40) vs Phillies (63-50)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (9-7, 3.39 ERA) vs RHP Zack Wheeler (11-5, 2.63 ERA)
When: 1:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: WPIX
The legend of Jacob deGrom has to stay with the Mets forever… 📝
Every time I watch Jacob deGrom, I become that much more amazed.
After all, he truly is a unicorn in the sport given how hard he can throw his fastball, that he can routinely spot his tightly wound slider on or just off the outside corner to right-handed hitters at 93-95 mph.
But he truly is a machine out there and even without his best slider he put on a clinic against the Phillies on Saturday night, shutting them out over six innings with ten strikeouts and only two baserunners allowed.
What’s even more amazing is it’s as if he took off the uniform last July 5, 2021 and just picked up right where he left off when his season was disrupted by that forearm injury. He hasn’t missed a single beat of greatness.
I don’t think anyone in the world knows how he can be this dominant so consistently and for this stretch of time. His 1.93 ERA since 2018 is by far the lowest in the sport during that span, nearly a half a run better than Justin Verlander who has also been amazing given what he’s been through.
I never got to see Tom Seaver pitch, but what deGrom is doing right now has to be close in comparison to peak-Tom, right?
I considered that 1.93 ERA over the last five years for deGrom and tried to find a similar 94-start stretch for Seaver during his Mets tenure.
deGrom has had four different 94 start stretches with an ERA below 2.00:
3/31/18 - present: 1.93 ERA
9/16/17 - 8/2/22: 1.94 ERA
9/10/17 - 7/7/21: 1.95 ERA
9/24/17 - 8/7/22: 1.96 ERA
The best Seaver ever was over a single span of 94 games was from May 22, 1971 to September 13, 1973 when he posted a 2.13 ERA, 1/5 a run higher than that of deGrom’s mark since the start of 2018.
Seaver’s four best 94 start stretches were as follows:
5/22/71 - 9/13/73: 2.13 ERA
5/17/71 - 9/8/73: 2.14 ERA
7/4/69 - 4/26/72: 2.15 ERA
5/7/71 - 8/30/73: 2.16 ERA
(Save the innings pitched argument - Seaver pitched in a different era which didn’t include pitch limits and innings limits, things which are not in deGrom’s control)
Don’t forget - Seaver has the second-highest bWAR (106) of any pitcher since 1950, behind only Roger Clemens (138.7) over the last 72 years.
And to think there was a time the Mets were willing to trade deGrom (don’t worry, it was before he was a big leaguer) and it was Rafael Montero in 2014 who was going to be in the rotation with deGrom in the bullpen.
It’ s safe to say that in the end, the Mets got it right with deGrom.
The point is, we can no longer discuss deGrom as the ace of the Mets pitching staff or even the best pitcher in baseball at the moment. His value and importance to the Mets has been tirelessly discussed and chronicled for the better part of a decade now, and everyone in the world knows the Mets must stop at nothing to retain him and ensure he stays in Flushing for the rest of his career.
Why? Well, first off, the Mets need him. Even as he inevitably declines over the course of his career, that version of deGrom is likely to be better than most anyone else in the game, even at what is likely to be at a cost exceeding that of Max Scherzer’s average annual value (yes, he’s proving he’s healthy and deserves to be paid more than any other pitcher in the sport).
But deGrom’s return to invincibility has demonstrated a value that goes beyond even the possibility he can deliver championships for this club. He has emerged as a historical figure in this game, worthy of being alongside Sandy Koufax for one of the greatest sprints by a pitcher in the history of the game. His trademark is with the Mets and whatever he is able to accomplish this year with this championship-caliber club will only enhance his star power and further define the legend he has become.
He is now that important to the history of this franchise and that important to the history of the sport. For all the star power Pete Alonso, Max Scherzer, and Francisco Lindor have brought to the Mets recently, it’s deGrom who remains the face of this franchise and all of the hope and promise of yesterday, today and future seasons rest with him.
If deGrom’s story does end with enshrinement in the baseball hall of fame, it needs to end with no other team listed on his plaque.
The franchise made that mistake with Seaver twice - it cannot happen again.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Mark Vientos (No. 5 prospect, Triple-A): 3-for-4
Matt Winaker (OF, Double-A): 2-for-3, BB, RBI
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 Prospect, Single-A): 2-for-4, RBI
Raúl Beracierta (OF, Low-A): 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
Box Scores: Triple-A | Double-A | Single-A | Low-A
Around the League 🚩
The Braves swept a day-night doubleheader from the Marlins to pull to within 5.5 games of the Mets in the National League East
The Dodgers hit six home runs in a 13-3 rout of the Royals for their 12th win in a row, their longest winning streak since 1976
The Nationals overcame a three-run deficit to push past the Padres 4-3 in Washington
The Yankees broke a 2-2 tie in the ninth inning and defeated the Red Sox 3-2 thanks to a go-ahead bunt single from Isiah Kiner-Falefa
The Brewers plated two in the tenth inning and staved off a Cardinals rally for a 3-2 win at Busch Stadium, pulling back to within 1/2 game of St. Louis in the National League Central
The Astros activated Lance McCullers, Jr. from the 60-day injured list - he allowed just two hits over six shutout innings against the A’s in his 2022 debut
DeGrom is great. He has now pitched three starts of six innings or fewer in 13 months. So to state that he is healthy is premature. Let's see how the stretch and playoffs go. Greatness is also determined by availability, as well as results. I love his pitching. I saw Seaver. Seaver and his generation went nine innings. DeGrom is the greatest six inning pitcher of all time. Six innings is when Seaver, Koosman, Gibson, Carlton got started. The last three innings are the challenge to your body and your mind. Fourth time through the order. They've seen your stuff. You're adjusting as the fastball slows. Adding another pitch, using guile. DeGrom throws fastball and slider, both overwhelming... for 75 pitches (right now; hopefully eventually up to 100). So while we can be amazed at his level of dominance, for six innings, it is a different sport than 40 years ago, and we must acknowledge that. Seaver used to say his pitch count was 125, Koosman 135, Ryan 145. I think he was half kidding because they didn't count pitches. They observed you and if you were appearing tired or ineffective, maybe they pulled you. It was "your game to win or lose" a lot of times. Worth remembering.
Excellent info and commentary as always. It is clear that deGrom pitching for any other team is unthinkable.