Jacob deGrom’s pursuit of the National League Cy Young Award is anything but similar to Dwight Gooden’s magical season of 1985, when he went 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA for the Mets.
At age 20, Gooden was a unanimous winner of the award. He pitched 276 2⁄3 innings and had 268 strikeouts. He threw 16 complete games and had eight shutouts. “Not to be greedy, but I thought I should have won the MVP, too,” Gooden said in a phone interview Thursday. He finished fourth in the MVP voting, which was won by Cardinals outfielder Willie McGee.
DeGrom is 8-8 with a major league-leading 1.71 ERA and 214 strikeouts in 174 innings after Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Giants at Citi Field. He allowed one earned run in six innings.
Gooden said he is rooting for deGrom. “I follow him for sure,” he said. “The year he is having is incredible, chasing my ERA record. I take a special interest in him.”
Gooden said he speaks with deGrom on a regular basis. “I know he wants it,” he said of the Cy Young, adding that he “shouldn’t be punished” because of the Mets’ losing record.
Gooden said deGrom’s victory total should not be a major factor in voting for the award. “Especially with guys throwing less innings, wins aren’t that important,” he said. “If it was me, I’d go with deGrom, with [Max] Scherzer a close second.”
Nationals ace Scherzer is 16-6 with a 2.13 ERA and 244 strikeouts in 181 2⁄3 innings after losing to the Phillies on Thursday. He allowed two runs in seven innings.
DeGrom’s Cy Young case will be largely based on his major league-leading ERA. In 1978, Mets righthander Craig Swan led the National League with a 2.43 ERA but did not receive a single vote for the Cy Young, which was won by Gaylord Perry (21-6, 2.73) of the Padres.
Three-time Cy Young winner Tom Seaver is the Mets’ career ERA leader at 2.57.
The plan for Bruce
Manager Mickey Callaway said Jay Bruce will be introduced into the lineup slowly when he returns to the team Friday night after a two-month stay on the disabled list for hip, back and foot issues.
“We’re going to talk to him, make sure he’s comfortable,’’ Callaway said. “I think initially it would be tough to just start playing him every day, so we definitely have to monitor his playing time once he comes back. You’re going to see him at first, you’re going see him in right and it’s gonna probably look like there’s no rhyme or reason. It’s going to be based on what we feel the team needs that day, but we’ll see him as much as possible in both those positions.’’