As the Mets prepare to try to split the 4 game weekend series with the Padres later today it is important to note that Jacob deGrom continues to carve out a special season which when this year is all said and done may be the best in the history of baseball. And when I think about all the so-called experts who contend he is anything but the best pitcher in baseball I will always put those people on the non-baseball expert list of reporters or tweeters.
The numbers are staggering as deGrom has a 0.62 ERA through nine starts which is the lowest ERA in the first nine games for any pitcher in baseball history. Not a single time in those first 9 starts has he allowed more than one earned run and in five of them he has allowed no runs. He has also struck out 93 hitters and walked just 8 batters in 58 innings which is equally as staggering.
His velocity is amazing as he as he hit 101 MPH or higher more times in last night’s win than any hurler in baseball history but he also threw a dynamite slider that handcuffed the southpaw Padre hitters. He also did all of this with a focus and determination that always kept him in charge of the game even though his opponent–Joe Musgrove matched him zero for zero until Jose Peraza and Francisco Lindor hit solo homers in the fifth inning to give the Mets the lead for good.
The talent in the right arm of Jacob deGrom is undeniable but his focus on executing his game plan is a big part of his success as well. Every year he arrives in spring training with a tweak in his pitching whether it is improved velocity or a killer slider and that really defines his greatness. He is never satisfied and is super competitive but he also listens to others whether it be his manager, his catcher or his coaches. Most recently he spent time analyzing his delivery to make sure he not only executed pitches well but that his whole pitching motion delivered every ounce of velocity and movement to the plate without putting any of his muscles in discomfort since he spent time on the injured list nursing some discomfort in those muscles.
There are talented pitchers in this game but none combine stuff that is off the charts with a mind for the game that is unmatched. So the next time you hear an expert cite the name of Gerrit Cole or Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer as the sports best pitcher just smile and walk away. Because that person simply can not be an expert in baseball. In Jacob deGrom I see the best pitcher in the game who might very well be the best player in the game and he proves that every time he takes the mound. PERIOD