Jacob DeGrom Wins 2018 NL Cy Young Award over Max Scherzer, Aaron NolaNovember 14, 2018
In an otherwise disappointing season for the New York Mets, Jacob deGrom was the one bright spot and has been rewarded for his efforts with the 2018 National League Cy Young Award.
DeGrom beat out Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals to take home the honor for the first time. The MLB Network shared the full voting results:
Already regarded as one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball coming into the year, deGrom took his game to another level. His 1.70 ERA was the sixth-lowest by any pitcher since the mound was lowered after the 1968 season.
DeGrom was the only NL starting pitcher to post an ERA under 2.30 in 2018. He also led MLB with a 1.99 fielding independent ERA and 8.8 wins above replacement, per FanGraphs. The 30-year-old set career highs with 217 innings pitched, 269 strikeouts and a 5.85 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Despite deGrom's individual success on the mound, the Mets' teamwide struggles limited him to a 10-9 record. Per MLB.com's David Adler, deGrom's 10 victories were tied for the seventh-fewest in MLB history by a starting pitcher who posted the league's best ERA.
After deGrom completed his masterpiece 2018 season, Sports Illustrated's Jack Dickey made the case for New York's ace to win the NL MVP award:
"He wasn't just brilliant but reliable too; after a May injury scare, he made 24 straight starts of six innings or more, never allowing more than three runs. As good as Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola have been, they have had off nights, but when deGrom has an off night, he's still on.
"Whichever WAR is your bag—Baseball-Reference or Fangraphs—deGrom leads the NL in both, not just for pitchers but all players. And while WAR is calculated based on general run prevention, not based on game situations, deGrom also leads the NL in win probability added, which measures a player's situational performance. So much for not helping his team win; he helps the Mets and helps them and then helps some more, and they respond by crying out for further help."
While the NL MVP award will be announced later this week, deGrom will be happy to add a Cy Young to his list of accomplishments. He previously won NL Rookie of the Year in 2014 and has been a two-time All-Star in his five-year career.
DeGrom joins R.A. Dickey (2006), Dwight Gooden (1985) and Tom Seaver (1969, 1973, 1975) as the only Cy Young winners in Mets history. He also kept the award in the NL East for the third straight year, as Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer won it in 2016 and 2017.