Five-plus months remain in the regular season, but a boisterous crowd of 8,130 fans at Citi Field submitted their voice votes for MVP on Friday night. Jacob deGrom, the elixir to all of the Mets’
Five-plus months remain in the regular season, but a boisterous crowd of 8,130 fans at Citi Field submitted their voice votes for MVP on Friday night.
Jacob deGrom, the elixir to all of the Mets’ recent woes, officially kicked his candidacy into gear in convincing fashion.
Once again, a dazzling deGrom did it all, striking out a career-high 15 batters in a complete game shutout and even jump-starting the offense in the Mets’ 6-0 win over the Nationals at Citi Field.
Continuing to perform in his own stratosphere, deGrom gave up just two hits and retired the final 19 batters he faced while adding an RBI double to give himself a lead with which to work.
Through four starts, deGrom has driven in two runs, scored two runs and given up just one earned run. The right-hander, who was serenaded with loud “MVP” chants throughout the late innings, now has 50 strikeouts in 29 innings, the most for any pitcher in MLB history through his first four starts of a season.
In each of his last two starts before Friday, deGrom had fanned 14 batters, tying a career-high. He reached that threshold and then broke through it on back-to-back batters in the seventh inning as he struck out the side for the second straight frame.
And deGrom improved to 6-for-11 at the plate this season after a 2-for-4 effort.
The game had been shaping up like an all-too-familiar deGrom start, in which he was quickly putting up zeroes on the scoreboard, only to have his own team do the same in the other half of the innings.
So deGrom took matters into his own hands.
With one out in the fifth inning, after J.D. Davis was hit by a pitch and Jeff McNeil drew a walk, deGrom — batting eighth for the first time this season, with backup catcher Tomas Nido hitting ninth — roped an RBI double to left field for the 1-0 lead.
After Nido grounded out, Brandon Nimmo came up next and delivered some breathing room with a two-run single under the glove of Nationals first baseman Josh Bell. DeGrom came around from second to make it 3-0.
With the lead in his back pocket, deGrom went back to work on the mound, striking out the next six batters he faced. That was part of retiring 19 straight to finish the game after giving up a double off the glove of a diving Nimmo in the third inning.
Nimmo later had deGrom’s back, adding a two-run homer in the eighth to finish his night 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Greg Joyce