The other two finalists, also from the NL East, are Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Alan Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies. The winner will be announced on the evening of November 14.
deGrom is coming off a season that some consider one of the finest in the last 50 years. He led the majors in ERA (1.70), FIP (1.98) and ERA+ (216). He tied for first in the the NL in WHIP (0.91) and WAR (10).
His 1.70 ERA was just the tenth instance since 1920 of a pitcher posting an ERA of 1.70 or lower while throwing 200 innings or more. It what might his most significant achievement, he allowed three or fewer runs in 29 straight starts and had 24 consecutive quality starts, both single-season major-league records.
Max Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young winner. He led the majors with 18 wins, 220 2/3 innings pitched and in strikeouts with 300. His ERA over 33 games was 2.53.
Alan Nola was an All-Star for the first time in 2018. Nola went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA, 224 strikeouts in 212 1/3 innings.
Jacob deGrom’s 10-9 record most likely will be overlooked by the BBWAA as his ERA was 2/3 of a run lower than anyone else’s in the NL. Time and time again, the Mets did not give deGrom adequate run support and in several other instances, the bullpen blew a game that deGrom started.
His season was so dominant that there was talk that he would be a Most Valuable Player finalist. Unfortunately, that did not come to pass as the three finalists are Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies, Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs, and near triple crown winner Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers.
New Mets’ general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, who was deGrom’s agent until he became GM, made his feelings about his former client abundantly clear in his introductory press conference.
He said, “make no mistake, I believe Jacob deGrom is an incredible talent and I hope to keep him for a long time.” As far as his prospects of winning the Cy Young Van Wagenen continued, “Jacob deGrom clearly has established himself as the best pitcher in baseball. Hopefully in a couple of weeks he’ll be rewarded with that trophy.”
As the season wore on, the only real reason to watch the Mets other than to see some of the young players flourish in the second half of the season, was to watch Jacob deGrom pitch. He was as masterful as he was brilliant. He is deserving of the Cy Young award as he had one of the best seasons a pitcher has had in a generation. Here’s to hoping the baseball writers feel the same way!