New York Mets: Tonight’s Battle Of Aces Could Foreshadow A Cy Young Standoff
Rick Osentoski, USATSI

As Jacob deGrom and Madison Bumgarner square off tonight, light may be shed on a tight Cy Young race in the National League.

At this point, baseball should just abolish the wins stat.

Not really — but could it get any more annoying?

Jacob deGrom, who has pitched to a sparkling 2.30 ERA entering play Thursday, has won an astonishingly unfitting seven games.

That total matches Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa, whose not-so-stellar 5.29 ERA would disqualify him from pitching on most Major League staffs.

deGrom has been nearly untouchable lately, as he boasts a 1.52 ERA over his last eight starts. (By the way, he only has four wins in that excellent stretch which dates back to July 1).

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Those low earned run averages lead us to the question which begs answering once a year. Who takes home the prestigious Cy Young Award for his respective league?

Well, let me throw a new hat in the ring: Jacob deGrom.

Someone can get that man a milkshake for what he’s done this season – and for everything he’s done for his team since the day he was called up – but getting Cy Young consideration for a guy who may not win more than ten games is problematic.

And you’d better believe wins matter. Because they do.

The win stat is a front –- you see it or hear right off the bat. It is right there, right next to a pitcher’s ERA.

When you see Stephen Strasburg’s 15-3 record or Jake Arrieta’s Cubs juggernaut-fueled 14-5 tally, it has a shiny feeling.

What you don’t know from that number is what lies behind the very reason it stands so tall. The facts are that Strasburg gets an average 6.57 runs of support, and Arrieta has an average 5.83 runs of support from his Cubs.

When deGrom’s 3.48 runs of average support (10th least in MLB) makes it hard for any lead to stand, he has still managed to win more games than he’s lost.

So, when Jacob deGrom tries to squeeze his immaculate ERA toward victory at the Baseball Writers’ voting booths, he’d normally be stopped at the door because of a win-loss record that doesn’t meet par.

But with multiple horses still in the race, the day of reckoning the National League Cy Young is hard to foreshadow now, and perhaps the script will flip.

With Clayton Kershaw injured, and his case for the honor potentially debunked, the conversation should revolve around tonight’s aces, deGrom and southpaw Madison Bumgarner, who are set to square off in San Francisco.

Both have been hurt by poor win-loss ledgers, and both have pristine ERAs (Bumgarner’s is 2.11).

With both men vying for the crown, tonight’s moonlight matchup on the bay may have major implications for a pitcher’s euphoria, the Cy Young Award.

If some baseball writers can overlook some lackluster win-loss records which cloud their better baseball judgement, they should redirect their attention to a true battle of aces in San Fran.

In fact, everyone should pay attention to this one.

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