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Give Jacob deGrom all the awards

In Saturday’s Say Hey, Baseball, we try to give Jacob deGrom all the awards, look at the Yankees’ Brett Gardner problem, and visit the Relief Room.

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

On Friday night, Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom threw yet another insane and ridiculous start. He pitched seven innings and allowed just three hits and one run. It was deGrom’s 28th consecutive start in which he’s held opponents to three runs or less, and it was his 23rd straight consecutive start in the 2018 season. No one in MLB history has done either of those things. Oh, and he lowered his ERA to an MLB-best 1.77.

There is no universe in which deGrom doesn’t deserve the Cy Young award. Even this universe, in which the Mets have managed to reward deGrom with an 9-9 record. That is a staggering when you consider how incredible deGrom has been this season. But that’s how bad the Mets have been this year. Bad enough that over 28 consecutive starts of three runs or less, the Mets have only managed to give deGrom nine wins. That’s criminal.

Those pitcher wins may be a reason for the oldest of the old school subscribers to discount deGrom’s literally historic season, but it doesn’t hurt his MVP case at all. He is a legitimate MVP candidate. Without deGrom, the Mets would be worse by actual magnitudes. He’s beyond the best player on their team; he’s the most valuable. When he plays, the team’s chances of winning go up exponentially.

There are fair arguments to be made that a pitcher shouldn’t win the MVP. He only plays every five days, while position players are out there every day. But it’s rare for a pitcher to be so good that he’s in the conversation. That’s how high the bar is for pitcher MVP candidacy. And that’s how good deGrom is. He deserves to be considered beside Christian Yelich and Nolan Arenado and Javy Baez and Matt Carpenter. DeGrom is just as valuable to the Mets as any of those players are to their playoff-bound teams. DeGrom shouldn’t be punished for being on the Mets.