By: Marc Lam
Harry How/Getty Images
At the beginning of the season, the Mets were projected, if healthy, to be potential wild card contenders. Obviously the Mets have been far from healthy this season, but there is still on bright spot in the Mets’ metaphorically bleak season. Jacob deGrom. In the middle of all of this madness deGrom is having one of the greatest seasons of all time. deGrom has a 1.68 ERA, 2.08 FIP, 0.96 whip in 188 innings. And yet the thing that sticks out the most is his dismal 8-8 win-loss record.
Baseball as a sport has evolved greatly over time, but one of the most interesting of said changes is the slow transition to bullpen dominance. In the early days of baseball the starter would pitch the complete game. Relievers were barely used, and if you were good, you better believe you were going for the long haul. Nowadays starters are pitching less than ever before. Relievers will often take over in just the fourth or fifth inning. Pitchers rarely make it to even seven, let alone a complete game. This year the Mets’ bullpen has a 5.00 ERA, meaning that when deGrom comes out, usually in the sixth or the seventh inning, the bullpen will blow the game, giving him a no decision or a loss. This, combined with the dismal Mets offense, makes for a starters’ hell in Citi field.
The evolution of pitching in the MLB explained previously shows why a win depends much more on the bullpen and the offense than the starter. Those that criticize deGrom for having a bad win-loss record do not understand how much more dependent the game now is on the bullpen and a strong offense. While guys like Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer are both having great seasons with records on pace for 20+ wins, deGrom’s pure dominance should signal a new era of Cy Young voting.