New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz believes that nothing can stop Jacob deGrom from winning a third straight Cy Young, not even COVID-19.
New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is arguably the best pitcher in baseball. He’s won back-to-back Cy Young awards — something no other Met has done. His 16 fWAR over the previous two seasons leads all pitchers, with Max Scherzer‘s 14 the next closest.
That’s why Steven Matz believes the COVID-19 delay won’t affect deGrom. In an interview with SNY Matz said, “Everyone will be in the same boat. He’s still going to go out and dominate. Everyone is playing by the same set of guidelines. It doesn’t matter if the season is short or long, he’s just going to be himself and that will be pretty good.”
DeGrom was putting on a show during his few spring training appearances. He allowed just one run over seven innings, striking out five and walking zero. He looked like his dominant self on the mound and was primed to fight for a third straight Cy Young, a feat only Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson have ever accomplished.
Despite Matz’s confidence, things will be considerably tougher for deGrom. With the season cut in half in MLB’s newest proposal, the margin for error would be incredibly small. With an 80-game schedule, deGrom would only make 16 starts. Just one bad start could be enough to cost him the Cy Young.
As Matz said, deGrom isn’t going to be the only pitcher who has to face that pressure. One injury or one rough stretch could cost a pitcher their shot at the award. A true ace steps up when his team needs him most.
A shortened season means each game matter more than ever. Each start deGrom makes is going to mean more individually than ever before. This is his time to cement himself atop the league and leave no doubt that Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher in MLB.