Jacob deGrom Is The Greatest Pitcher I've Ever Seen

I’ve seen Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw win MVPs. I’ve seen Max Scherzer in his prime. I’ve seen Jake Arrieta go a year where he forgot to give up runs. I have walked across the surface of the sun. I have witnessed events so tiny and so fast, they could hardly be said to have occurred at all. Okay, maybe those last few aren’t true, but these eyes have indeed seen many things, but they’ve never seen a pitcher like Jacob deGrom. Now I’m not saying that Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher ever. I’m not even saying that he’s the best pitcher of my lifetime (Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson probably hold that title). I’m saying that in the twenty plus years that I’ve been watching baseball, I have never seen a pitcher be this dominant over an extended period of time. Last night, after his 8th scoreless outing in 12 starts, deGrom lowered his ERA to 0.50. He only lasted 5 innings as the Mets pulled him out of caution following a few lingering injury issues. He left last night’s game with a 30 inning scoreless streak. He has driven in 6 runs with his bat and given up 7 on the mound (only 4 of them earned).

This isn’t some fluke. It’s not just a hot start. This is who he is. This is the 4th consecutive season in which Jacob deGrom has simply been on a different planet than every other pitcher in baseball. His ERA over the last 4 seasons (88 starts) sits at 1.89. To put that into perspective, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Corey Kluber in their best seasons have never had an ERA lower than what deGrom has over the last four. 

I feel like sometimes greatness is taken advantage of. Sometimes someone becomes so consistently great that we forget how abnormal their awesomeness is. Throwing 100 MPH is incredibly difficult. It’s difficult for relievers, it’s even more difficult when you’re a starter. To be pumping 100+ MPH cheddar cheese without breaking a sweat is something you’d be lucky to see on MLB The Show. deGrom does it with relative ease. There’s no violence to his delivery. He seemingly excerpts the same amount of energy striking out some of the best hitters in the game as I do walking outside to get the paper in the morning.

Last night there was a slight controversy as deGrom’s glove was checked for sticky stuff by the home plate umpire after the first inning. I’d recommend Clem’s blog from last night for further details. I’ll just say this, for deGrom to have done what’s done over the least several years without the help of any foreign substances genuinely makes me question if he’s a terminator. I truly hope he stays healthy and that the Mets are able to make it to the postseason this year. October yearns for Jacob deGrom. Baseball is at its best when the most exceptional players in the league are playing in the most important games. But what Jacob deGrom is doing right now is not just exceptional, it’s legendary.