Jacob deGrom reached a milestone that meant something to him. His six innings on Sunday against the Nationals in a tough luck loss to Max Scherzer (the tough luck being facing Scherzer) gave him 201 and a third innings on the season. He topped 200 innings for the first time in his career, and to do it for this team while it’s in the nadir of this decade (think about it: The Mets could win out and still have their worst season since ’09) is really saying something. That he did it at all is amazing considering the Mets had 38 pitchers hit the disabled list season. That he also did it after season ending surgery in 2016 is the one bit of comfort that we have to go into the winter. He’s like a potato chip after a juice cleanse.
Usually my second paragraph is all “too bad this good moment didn’t happen for a winner”, and you’d be right. But you already know all of this. I’ve only hammered it home for the better part of the last two months. The one thing I will say is that hopefully the Mets can get two more innings eaters like deGrom for next season and we’ll be in business. Sadly, the one pitcher currently on the roster who has a realistic shot of duplicating this is Noah Syndergaard. Steven Matz had the same surgery this season as deGrom had last season. But the closest Matz has come to 200 was his minor league season in 2014 (140), so I’m not too enthusiastic about his chances.
deGrom’s season underscores the importance of having two more pitchers who can reach 200 innings or come damn close. Besides Syndergaard, who do you think can do it in the organization? Matt Harvey? Robert Gsellman? Seth Lugo?
The answer lies in free agency, where a guy like Lance Lynn is ready and waiting for a team other than the Cardinals to show him a little love. But it would also be an acknowledgement that the “five ace” dream is dead. That’s probably hard for some Met fans to take. You hoped Zack Wheeler would be the fifth after Bartolo Colon left, and even starting 2016 when Colon was supposed to be the bullpen piece. Then, you held out for Seth Lugo and even Robert Gsellman to be the next under the radar superstar. But guess what … the “five ace” dream has been dead for years. And good riddance, because five aces isn’t going to win you a World Series. Dependable starters and a balanced team will beat a team with five aces every time … especially when two of them are in the bullpen being wasted.
But that’s just me. That’s just me trying to find a way to say something different other than “too bad we didn’t win this year.” Thankfully, I’ll only have to find seven more ways to do that before the end of the year.
Today’s Hate List
- Max Scherzer
- Trea Turner
- Jayson Werth
- Ryan Madson
- Brandon Kintzler