Jacob deGrom’s 2016 season is a perfect example of why judging starting pitchers by their victory total is downright unfair.
The righthander has only seven wins in 21 starts this season. Victories have been hard to come by, thanks in large part to an anemic Mets offense. At this point, deGrom isn’t asking for much. Three or four runs will do.
He allowed one run, three hits and one walk in seven sparkling innings Saturday in the Mets’ 3-2, 11-inning victory over the Padres on a hot, humid night at Citi Field.
“Terrific performance,” manager Terry Collins said. “He was, especially in that kind of weather, to go pitch like that, it was pretty impressive.”
Stony Brook alum Travis Jankowski walked to lead off the game, but deGrom didn’t allow another baserunner until Ryan Schimpf singled in the fifth. Yangervis Solarte tagged deGrom for a solo home run in the seventh on a changeup that didn’t quite dip as much as planned.
Otherwise, deGrom was nearly flawless. He struck out nine and threw 63 of his 93 pitches for strikes. He was lifted in the bottom of the seventh for pinch hitter Kelly Johnson, who drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly and set up deGrom for a win.
But when Jeurys Familia blew the save by allowing Wil Myers’ tying home run with two outs in the ninth, deGrom no longer was the pitcher of record.
“I just try to go out there and put us in a position to win,” deGrom said. “I try to put up zeroes every time I’m out there.”
The Mets have won his last three starts, even though deGrom himself earned only one win in that span, on Aug. 2 against the Yankees. Still, he has proved to be the stopper that the Mets so desperately need.
“Every win’s big, especially now,” deGrom said. “We’re trying to make it to the playoffs, so we need to win as many as we can, and that’s big for the guys to come back and win that ballgame.”
DeGrom truly gives the Mets a chance to win each game he pitches. Outside of starts on July 1 against the Cubs (five innings) and July 23 against the Marlins (3 2⁄3), he has gone at least six innings in every start since June 1.
DeGrom sports pristine marks in ERA (2.30) and WHIP (1.08) and has 129 strikeouts in 133 1⁄3 innings. He has allowed one run or fewer in each of his last four starts, giving him outings of one run or fewer in 35 of his first 73 career starts — second-most for any major-leaguer since 1913. Dwight Gooden did so 38 times.