Of all the wild stats Jacob deGrom posted on Sunday night, this is by far the wildest
On Sunday night, baseball saw another Jacob deGrom start. That can only mean one thing: Complete and utter dominance (deGrominance?). Taking the hill for the New York Mets in Arizona just shy of 10 p.m. on the Eastern seaboard, deGrom logged another performance for the record books. Coming into the game, deGrom was averaging 13.4 pitches per inning (and 14.8 Ks per game) and his first eleven pitches of the evening continued that trend. The first 10 were all 100-plus-mile-hour fastballs. The 11th, a filthy 93-mph slider, sat the Diamondbacks down in order and brought his consecutive first-inning out streak to a whopping 22 straight batters.
He was just getting warmed up.
In total, deGrom threw 27 pitches in triple digits on Sunday and lowered his league-leading ERA to .71, the MLB’s lowest total through Memorial Day since 1964.
But it wasn’t just his defense that got the job done. Stepping to the plate in the top of the fourth with runners on first and second, deGrom delivered an RBI single to right to put the Mets up 3-0. It was the seventh hit in eight starts for deGrom, who has now scored or driven in a run in six of those eight. The hit brought his batting average to .450 on the season and has him pacing ahead of Francisco Lindor in batting war.
And that’s not even the craziest part about Jacob deGrom’s Sunday night.
That distinct honor goes to deGrom’s curveball, which he threw in the bottom of the sixth inning for the very first time this season.
So first of all, let’s get the obvious out of the way: That’s filthy. Borderline unhittable. 85 mph from a guy who has been throwing 100-plus all night. Inside corner at the knees. Good night and good luck, sweetheart. In fact with a curveball that good, you would think a guy would throw it until his arm fell off, but no. It took deGrom eight starts and 671 pitches in the year of our lord 2021 before he went to it. Perhaps SNY dugout reporter Steve Gelbs explained it best:
He doesn’t need it, so he doesn’t use it. Incredible hubris from a major-league ace, but hey, if it ain't broke, don't curve it.