Jun 21, 2018

Remembering Mets History: (1994) John Franco Sets All Time Save Mark For Lefties

Wednesday June 22nd 1994: Dallas Green's Mets (33-38) came to Atlanta to face Bobby Cox's Braves (45-24). A large Georgia crowd of 47,907 were on hand to see the Mets Pete Smith (3-7) go up against Cy Young Award Pitcher; Greg Maddox (10-2).

Starting Lineups

The Braves struck Smith first as Roberto Kelly & Jeff Blauser hit back to back HRs in the Atlanta home 1st inning. In the top of the 2nd, Jeff Kent doubled for the Mets & Ryan Thompson then singled him in with a two out base hit, making it 2-1 Braves.

The game stayed that way until the 8th inning, as both pitchers dueled it out & settled in. Todd Hundley & Ryan Thompson started off the 8th with base hits. Shawn Hare pinch hit for the Mets & delivered with an RBI single to tie the game.

A Young Fernando Vina then reached for the Mets, on an error as he attempted a sac bunt. Braves third baseman Bill Pecota threw wild to Fred McGriff at first, both Thompson & Hare scored putting the Mets up 4-2. With Vina on third, Jose Vizcaiano hit a sac fly making it 5-2 Mets.

The Mets Mauro Gozzo pitched a scoreless 8th inning. Then in the 9th John Franco came on to close it out & secure himself a spot in MLB history. Franco got Javey Lopez to line out for the first out. Bill Pecota flew out & Mark Lemke then flew out to right field to end the game.

With this save, Franco's 253rd of his career & his 17th of the season, John Franco became the all time saves leader for left handed pitchers.

Franco would go on to lead the NL with 30 saves that season.

He ended his career with 1,119 appearances, third most all time. He has 424 saves, placing him fourth on the all-time list & is still first among left-handers.

In 14 years with the Mets (1990-2004) Franco saved 276 games for New York, first on the Mets all time list. Franco became Mets team Captain & was elected to the clubs Hall of Fame.

1973 N.L. Champion Mets Reserve Catcher: Ron Hodges (1973-1983)

Ronald Wray Hodges was born on June 22, 1949 in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Although he shared the same name, he was not related to Gil Hodges in any way.

The six foot one catcher was drafted three different times Baltimore (1970) Kansas City & Atlanta (1971) but didn’t sign with anyone, until 1972. That year he was the second round draft pick of the New York Mets. He spent 1972 at A Ball Pompano Beach bashing 15 HRs with 15 doubles & 48 RBIs in 112 games.

Hodges began 1973 in AA Memphis hitting only .173 but took a giant leap forward very quickly. All of a sudden he was called up to the Mets big league squad when injuries struck Jerry Grote & short time backup catcher Jerry May. Hodges was needed to help back up Duffy Dyer, who had taken over the main catchers job. Hodges made his Mets debut on June 13th 1973 at Shea Stadium against the San Francisco Giants.

He was behind the plate catching Tom Seaver’s eighth victory of his 1973 Cy Young season. In the 7th inning he got his first career hit at the plate.

Hodges caught the next game as well, helping Jon Matlack to a victory, getting another hit & driving in his first career run. Hodges hit safely in eleven of his first thirteen games and seventeen of his first twenty two. He found himself batting over .300 into July, before tailing off just in time for Jerry Grote to get healthy.

He received good reviews from the pitching staff and settled right in with the 1973 Pennant team as the number three catcher. He threw out 43% of the base runners trying to steal & posted a .992 fielding percentage, making only two errors. 

 In late September the Mets were the hottest team in baseball & were in fourth place in the NL East but just 2 1/2 games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates. On September 18th in a crucial three game series at three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh the Mets came back from a 4-1 deficit in the 9th inning. After Felix Millan tripled home two runs, Hodges singled scoring Millan with the tying run.

The Mets went on to win the game 6-5. Hodges was involved in a famous play that was important to the Mets 1973 pennant run. On September 20th The Mets were in a tight pennant race with three teams, including their opponent of the evening, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With two outs & the game tied in the 13th inning, Ritchie Zisk was on first base. Dave Augustine lined a shot over the head of left fielder Cleon Jones. The ball hit off the top of the wall, and bounced back into Jones' glove. He grabbed it, turned & threw a perfect relay to short stop Bud Harrelson.

Harrelson then threw a perfect bullet to Hodges at the plate. Hodges blocked the plate perfectly and tagged Ritchie Zisk for the third out. It was an exciting play that electrified the team & the Shea fans in the year of "You Gotta Believe".

In the bottom of the inning, with two on, Hodges singled home John Milner with the winning run. It is considered one of the key points to the 1973 pennant season & is known as “the ball off the wall” game.

Overall in 45 games Hodges hit .260 (33-145) with one HR two doubles eleven walks & 18 RBIs. Hodges was on the Mets' postseason roster in 1973 and played in one game of the World Series, drawing a walk in his only appearance. Hodges remained a backup catcher with the Mets for the next decade.

He was there from the 1973 Pennant, through the down years when Shea Stadium became known as "Grant’s tomb". Hodges was also there for the resurgence of the Mets in the mid eighties Dwight Gooden & Keith Hernandez’ squad. He averaged getting into 50 to 60 games a year each season; backing up main catchers Jerry Grote, Duffy Dyer, John Stearns, Alex Trevino & Mike Fitzgerald.

In 1974 Hodges was back on the club as a backup catcher. On April 28th his 8th inning two run HR broke up a tie game with the Giants in San Francisco and ended up being the game winner. In 59 games on the year Hodges hit .221 with 4 HRs 4 doubles & 14 RBIs. Behind the plate he had one of his worst years making 12 errors posting the lowest fielding % of his career (.959%) while only throwing out 20% of would be base stealers. He would never make double figures in errors again until the 1983 season.

In 1975 he spent most of the season at AAA Tidewater, playing in only nine games with the Mets. On September 20th, he hit a two run walk off HR against the Philadelphia Phillies Gene Garber & hit another HR the next day as well. 

In 1976 he had one of his best years, he started off the season well driving in six runs in seven games played in the month of April. In the eight game of the season he had three hits & drove in two runs in the Mets 17-1 debacle of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On April 26th his two run single off Atlanta's Dick Ruthven led the Mets to a 3-2 win over the Braves. He got a chance to play in 16 games in July and drove in 12 runs over that period, playing a solid defense as well. He hit HRs in back to back games in a series in Atlanta driving in five runs over the two games. He saw less playing time at the end of the season, finishing the year with 4 HRs & 24 RBIs batting .226 in 56 games.

He followed that up in 1977 batting .265 with a .992 fielding percentage in 66 games throwing out 34% of would be base stealers. He increased his percentage in throwing out base runners each season from then on, reaching a career high 43% by 1980.

On April 22nd 1978 Hodges helped New York win a game at Wrigley Field in Chicago with an 8th inning two run single off the Cubs Rick Reuschel. On the year he batted .255 with seven RBIs in 47 games.

In 1979 his average fell to a measly .163 in 59 games played. The next year he improved to .238 but did not hit a HR for the third straight season. In the 1981 strike season his HR drought was over when in the seventh game of the season he hit a HR against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium in a 4-3 Mets loss.

In the short season he hit over .300 (43 at bats) driving in six runs in 35 games. That season he also had some success being used as a pinch hitter, getting five pinch hits in the month of September.

Drama: On a road trip to Montreal, he and Mets pitcher Dyar Miller were suspended without pay for three days by Mets' manager Joe Torre. The two were drinking in at the bar of the hotel where Mets coach Chuck Cottier, reminded them they were violating a club rule. There was to be no patronizing of a bar of in a hotel where the team was staying.

According to a statement issued by the team, the two players refused to leave the bar. Hodges said ''I guess a clean record doesn't count; I've never been involved in this kind of thing before. The more I think about it, the madder I get.''

In 1982 he had career highs in HRs (5) doubles (12) runs scored (26) & RBIs (27) playing in 80 games overall under new manager George Bamberger. Hodges had multi RBI games in each of the first three months. In early June he hit HRs in back to back games, as he also drove in three runs in the Mets 6-3 win at Cincinnati. On September 8th Hodges hit his only career grand slam, it came off the Pirates Grant Jackson in Pittsburgh.

In 1983 he saw the most playing time of his career behind the plate, seeing action in 96 games. He was finally the team’s main catcher after ten seasons, ahead of Junior Ortiz, Ron Reynolds & Mike Fitzgerald. In 110 games he hit .260, matched his career high 12 doubles, drew 49 walks posting a .358 on base percentage. He didn’t hit any HRs & only drove in 21 runs.

In 1984 Hodges was the back up catcher to Mike Fitzgerald as the Mets were now contending for first place for the first time in almost a decade. Hodges was thrilled to be back on a winning club where he started out.

On July 2nd Hodges was behind the plate catching the league's new phenom pitcher Dwight Gooden as he beat former Met Mike Scott 4-2 in a game at Shea Stadium. On July 12th he hit his last career HR helping New York to an 8-6 win over the Braves in Atlanta. On September 25th Hodges caught his last game, a 6-4 Mets win that began with Ron Darling on the mound getting relieved by Ed Lynch. On September 30th, the last game of the year, he made his last appearance as a pinch hitter in Montreal going hitless.

In his 12 year career Hodges played in 666 games, batting .240 with 342 hits 56 doubles two triples 19 HRs a .342 on base % 224 walks & 147 RBIs. He caught 445 behind the plate (6th most in Mets history) throwing out 31% of would be base stealers. He posted a .978 fielding % making 52 errors in 2358 chances.

Defensively he had 2095 putouts making 52 errors in 445 games (3326 innings) posting a .978 fielding percentage, throwing out 31% of base runners attempting to steal. Retirement: After baseball Hodges sold real estate in his home town of Rocky Mount, Virginia.

New York Giants Hall Of Fame Pitcher: "The Meal Ticket" Carl Hubbell (1928-1943)

Carl Owen Hubbell was born June 22, 1903 in Carthage, Missouri. The six foot left hander became known as King Carl & The Meal Ticket.

As a young boy he would throw stones against his barn door, he got so good he was able to hit them on a hole the size of a dime. In his career Hubbell’ s best pitch was a screwball, he threw it so often it left his arm twisted and had his palm facing outward after his baseball career.

Hubbell attended high school at Meeker Oklahoma & was originally signed by the Detroit Tigers. He was first sent to minor league Toronto & then to Decatur Georgia as well as the Texas League. After two years of frustrations, he was released by Detroit, because player manager Ty Cobb feared the screw ball would hurt his arm.

In 1926 the New York Giants signed him, manager John McGraw said "after all Christy Mathewson threw a screw ball pitch called the fade away." Hubbell went 10-6 in his 1929 rookie year, with a 2.83 ERA. On May 8th, he threw a no hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the first by a left hander in over a decade.

He then won 17 games or more over the next four seasons, coming in second place for the ERA title three times. By 1933 he established himself as one of the best pitchers in the game. He would win twenty or more games for five straight years, leading the league in wins three of those times. He would lead the league in ERA three times & winning percentage twice. In that time he threw over 300 innings each year, leading the league one time in that category as well as in complete games, strike outs & shut outs all one time.

He won his first MVP Award in 1933, going 23-12 with a 1.66 ERA & ten shut outs, pitching in 308 innings, all the best numbers in the league. He led his Giants to a pennant & a World Series win over the Washington Nationals.

Post Season: In the 1933 World Series he opened up Game #1 & threw a complete game five hit victory over Washington at the Polo Grounds. The Senators scored two un earned runs as Hubbell struck out ten batters. In Game #4 at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C., he went ten innings and allowed just one unearned run, leading the Giants to their third victory of the Series. They would win the Worlds championship in five games.

Hubbell followed with two more twenty win seasons, but the Giants finished second in 1934 & third in 1935. In 1934 he led the league in ERA (2.30) complete games (25) & saves (8). His 23 wins (23-12) in 1935 were second best in the league, but he also allowed a league leading 27 HRs.

In the 1934 All Star Game, played at the Polo Grounds, Hubbell accomplished one of his most remembered feats. He struck out five consecutive batters headed to the Hall of Fame; Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin. Then after allowing a single he struck out Left Gomez to make it six Hall of Famers going down on strikes in two innings. Overall he played in nine All Star games throughout his career.

In 1936 he had another incredible year & won his second MVP Award. During a stretch from July 1936 which lasted to the end of May 1937, he won a record 24 straight games. Hubbell pitched 46 1/3 scoreless in that time. By mid July he was 10-6, when the streak began.

On July 17th he shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 & then two days later he came in relief earning another win over the Reds in Cincinnati. On the next home stand he earned four wins; beating the Cardinals, Cubs, Reds & Pirates. In August not only did he go 6-0 but also earned himself a pair of saves in relief. All of his wins were complete games & on August 12th he tossed a two hit shutout over the Dodgers in Brooklyn. In September he went 6-0 once again, allowing just one run, pitching complete games three times that month.

He finished the year at 26-6, leading the league in wins, winning percentage (.813%) & ERA (2.31). He struck out 123 batters & walked 57 in 304 innings in 42 games (34 starts) leading the Giants to another pennant.

Post Season: In the 1936 subway series he won Game #1 at the Polo Grounds, allowing just one run in nine innings, striking out eight in the Giants 6-1 win. He returned in Game #4 buy took the loss across the Harlem River to Monte Pearson. Hubbell allowed three earned runs on eight hits in seven innings. The Giants lost the series in six games.

The Meal Ticket returned in 1937 and was receiving a lot of attention. In the second game of the season he shut out the Brooklyn Dodgers on a three hitter. At home in the Polo Grounds he won his next three starts, two of them complete games. It was on the road from there & he won in St. Louis, Pittsburgh & Cincinnati bringing the streak to 24 straight regular season wins.

On May 31st, 1937 at New York's Polo Grounds, the NYFD had to turn away a crowd of an estimated 20,000 fans who did not have tickets for the game, for public safety. An incredible 60,000 had already jammed into the Polo Grounds and the surrounding hills, to watch Carl (The Meal Ticket) Hubbell continue his win streak.

But it was on this day that he took his 1st loss in ten months losing 10-3 to the Brooklyn Dodgers. One of the things that makes baseball so great are the unsung heroes, that shine for a day to break or spoil a record. Today it was Brooklyn Dodger, back up catcher Paul Chervinko, making his first MLB start of a short 45 game career. Chervinko would contribute with two RBIs helping Brooklyn defeat the Giants & beat Hubbell for the first time on the season.

In June after earning a save, he went on a personal four game losing streak. He rebounded with a July that had him throw four complete game victories. He finished the year at 22-7, leading the league in wins (22) win percentage (.733) & strike outs (159).

Post Season: The Giants went on to win another pennant that season & Hubbell made his final World Series appearance. In Game #1 he gave up four runs & was knocked out of the game in the 6th inning, taking the loss to Lefty Gomez.

He came back in Game #4 to salvage the only game of the Series for the Giants. He pitched a two run, six hit complete game in a 5-3 win. In six World Series starts in his career, he was 4-2 with 32 strikeouts in 50 innings and a 1.79 ERA. At the plate he even had four hits in 19 at bats.

Hubbell went on to win double figures in the next five seasons for the Giants but the glory days were behind him. The Giants suffered a series of bad seasons, finishing a best third twice in those years. His last year pitching was 1943, Hubbell was 4-4 with a 4.91 ERA at age 40 & he was released.

Lifetime he was 253-154 (44th all time in wins) with 1677 strike outs (127th all time) 227 walks & a 2.98 ERA (165th all time) in 3590 innings pitched (62nd all time). He threw 260 complete games (69th all time) & 36 shut outs (63rd all time) in 433 starts (89th all time).

He was so respected by his peers, he was elected to the Hall of Fame four years after he retired, before the five year rule. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in the class of 1947. He was also a good hitter, batting a career .191 with 4 HRs 30 doubles & 101 RBIs.

Retirement: After his playing days, Giants owner Horace Stoneman, put him in charge of player development. He held that position for 35 years through the 1979 season. After that he became a scout through the next decade until the time of his death.

Honors: He was the first player in the NL to have his number retired (#11) and he was the last New York Giants player to still be involved in baseball.

Passing: In 1988 Hubbell passed away after complications following a series automobile accident. It was thiry years to the day that his team mate Mel Ott died of the same cause. He is interred in Meeker Oklahoma.

Jun 20, 2018

Remembering Mets History: (1986) Mets Pounce On Cubs As The Kid Drives In Four Runs

Friday June 20th 1986: Davey Johnson's first place Mets (45-18) were rolling over the NL East, proudly holding a ten game lead over the division.

Today, Sid Fernandez went up againstScott Sanderson & Gene Michael's, last place Chicago Cubs (25-78). A large crowd of 44,817 piled into Shea Stadium for this Mets Cubs match up.

Starting Lineups

The Cubs scored first as Leon Durham had an RBI sac fly & Ron Cey added a base hit RBI, in the 4th inning to make it 2-0. But in the bottom of the 5th the '86 Mets attacked. Mookie Wilson & Wally Backman led off with singles. Kieth Hernandez then drove a base hit to the outfield brining in Mookie with the first run. Gary Carter tied the game up with a sac fly to centerfield.

In the home 6th inning Keith Hernandez his fifth HR of the season, putting New York ahead.

The Mets exploded in the bottom of the 7th inning, scoring six runs with three hits. Ray Knight led off with a triple and Cubs pitcher Ray Fontent then threw a wild pitch, easily scoring Knight. Kevin Mitchell walked & pinch hitter Ed Hearn reached on an error.

Tim Tuefel then doubled scoring Hearn making it 6-2 New York. Darryl Strawberry was walked intentionally to put two men on for "the Kid". The big blow came as Gary Carter blasted a three run HR, blowing the game open to 9-3.

In the 8th inning, Ed Hearn who stayed in the game to catch, replacing Gary Carter hit a solo HR to top off the 10-3 Mets win. It was Hearn's second HR of the year, his second on the week, he would hit four on the year in 49 games, 136 at bats.

Remembering Mets History (1971): Donn Clendennon's Dramatic 15 Inning Walk Off

Saturday June 19, 1971: As Bob Murphy would say it was “a beautiful Saturday for baseball” as 52,171 fans turned out at Shea Stadium to watch Tom Terrific go against Philadelphia's Rick Wise.

Frank Lucchesi’s Phillies (25-38) were in last place, as Gil Hodges Mets (36-25) were in second place 2 ½ games out behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Starting Lineups

Seaver certainly wasn’t having his best day; allowing four runs on twelve hits, striking out only two batters before being relieved by Ron Taylor in the 6th.
In the 2nd, Deron Johnson hit a two run HR, Ron Stone & Larry Bowa later added RBI singles.

Philadelphia's Rick Wise was sailing along until the 6th inning. Ed Kranepool doubled, Ken Singleton singled and Ken Boswell singled scoring Kranepool. Jerry Grote & Tim Foli reached on consecutive errors by Larry Bowa & Oscar Gamble, which resulted to two more Mets runs, tying the game at four.

The game went to the bull pens and both sides did a great job. The Phils' Woodie Fryman & Joe Horner held the Mets scoreless for seven more innings. The Mets Tug McGraw & Danny Frisella did the same. McGraw allowed only allowed two hits getting to the 12th inning, giving way to Frisella. Frisella struck out six, but he did walk four and allowed four hits.

In the top of the 14th, Phillies short stop Larry Bowa reached on a  Ken Boswell error at scond. He advanced on a fielders choice & stole third. Bowa then stole home giving the Phillies the lead 5-4.

But the Mets wouldn’t let this one slip away, with one out in the bottom of the 14th; a young rookie Ken Singleton hit a dramatic HR to tie the game back up.

Frisella came out for the 15th and with one out allowed base hits to Bowa & Tim McCarver. He then struck out Willie Montanez "the Hot Dog" to end the inning.

The stage was set for Donn Clendenon, who had come into the game late as a pinch hitter, overall he was 3-4. He had led off the 9th & the 12th with doubles but had been left stranded.

With two outs he connected off Joe Hoerner, for a walk off game winning home run over the right field fence, (his 6th HR of the year) sending the crowd into frenzy. After a long four hours and forty minutes, the Mets took the 15 inning 6-5 win. Billy Wilson got the loss & Frisella got his third win of the year.

Remembering Mets History: (1976) Dave Kingman's Walk Off Preserves Craig Swan's Gem

Thursday, June 17th 1976: It was just three weeks away from America's 200th birthday, during the bicentennial year of 1976 and all of the nation was feeling good. The National League was celebrating it's 100th centennial Anniversary that year as well.

On this night, Walter Alston's second place Los Angeles Dodgers (36-27) were in town to face Joe Frazier's third place Mets (32-33). 

A crowd of 20,268 came out to Shea Stadium as New Yorks; Craig Swan went up against the Dodgers future Hall of Famer; Don Sutton. 

 It was a classic pitcher's duel, as the two starters shined. Swan was spectacular as he went ten innings, allowing just three hits as he struck out eight Dodgers, walking no one.

Unfortunately on the other side, Sutton shut out the Mets for nine innings, allowing six hits on two walks with four strike outs. 

In the home 10th, Alston brought in Mike Marshall to relieve Sutton, Marshall threw two more scoreless innings getting to the 11th. After ten innings, Frazier put Mike Vail in to pinch hit for Swan. With Felix Millan on first base, Vail grounded out to end the inning. Skip Lockwood, a fine reliever for the Mets during this period in team history came on to pitch four scoreless innings. He did not allow any hits & just one walk. 

Finally in the bottom of the 14th inning, with Charlie Hough now pitching for L.A. Dave Kingman connected with a walk off HR, giving the Mets an exciting 1-0 win. Kingman would come in second in the NL in HRs in 1976, setting a club record with 37.

Trivia: Kingman would tie his record in 1980 & in 1988 Darryl Strawberry broke that record with 38. 

In 1976 Swan would go 6-9 with a 3.54 ERA. In 1978 Swan would lead the NL in ERA at 2.43. Skip Lockwood saved 19 games, second in the NL. He would save 15 or more in each of the next two seasons as well.

Jun 18, 2018

2015 NL Champion Mets Pitcher & 2014 NL Rookie of the Year: Jacob deGrom (2014-2018)

Jacob Anthony deGRom was born on June 19th 1988 in De Leon Florida. The six foot four right handed pitcher began his career as a short stop, transitioning to a pitcher in 2010. That year he was drafted out of Stetson University, a 9th round draft pick of the New York Mets.

In 2010 he pitched at Kingsport in the Rookie league going 1-1 with a 5.19 ERA. He missed all of 2011 after having Tommy John surgery. deGrom was back at A ball in 2012 starting out with the Savannah Sand Gnats. He ended the year at advanced A ball St. Lucie, going 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA. He struck out 18 batters, walking six in 21 innings. He reported to Spring Training 2013 but had broken finger, after being kicked by a calf while working on a friend's cattle ranch.

In 2013 he made the journey from St. Lucie (1-0) to AA Binghamton where he was 2-5 with a 4.80 ERA. He was promoted to AAA Las Vegas when Zack Wheeler was brought up to the Mets, where he went 4-2 with a 4.52 ERA, striking out 63 batters walking 24 in 75 innings pitched.

Quotes: Jacob deGrom: "when I started in St. Lucie [in 2013], I thought I’d probably end up in Binghamton to end the year. And then I got the chance to pitch in Vegas and pitched pretty well in the beginning. That helped me stay. And I was thankful for that opportunity.” In his minor league career he is 21-11 with a 3.76 ERA, 267 Ks & 82 walks in 323 innings. On Christmas 2013 he got engaged to his fiancĂ©; Stacey.

He was invited to Mets Spring Training in 2014 & was very impressive at the start of camp. He pitched two scoreless innings in the Mets first Spring Training game & did a his first interview with Kevin Burkhardt. deGrom throws a 91-94 mph fastball, as well as a fine slider & change up.

Trivia: He was one of three Mets players in Spring Training with a small "d" to start his last name.

He began the 2014 season at AAA Las Vegas, going 4-0 with 29 strike outs, ten walks & a 2.58 ERA in seven starts. He was so impressive he earned a promotion to the mets big league club, getting a spot in the rotation. At first he was not considered a top prospect but he turned out to be an outstanding surprise & one of the NL's top Rookies.

On May 15th, deGrom made his MLB debut in the subway series at Citi Field. He had a fine outing pitching six shutout innings,, striking out six batters, walking two. In the 7th inning he gave up his only run, a double to Alfonzo Siriano.

It was all the AL New Yorkers needed for a combined shut out, as deGrom & the Mets took a tough 1-0 loss. In that game he collected his first career hit as well as collecting the first hit of any Mets pitcher that season breaking a horrific 0-64 streak. His next start was against a hot L.A. Dodgers team, he allowed three runs on four hits in six innings taking his second loss.

On May 26th, deGrom pitched into the 7th inning, not allowing a run & just five hits. He allowed a season high five walks & struck out four, earning no decision in a 5-3 Mets loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  On May 31st he was sporting a 1.83 ERA, as he started his first road game, it came in Philadelphia against Kyle Kendrick. 

deGrom pitched into the 7th inning, allowing three runs on three hits. He struck out eleven batters, the first of four times he would have double figures in strike outs. The Mets came back to win the game but deGrom did not get a decision.

As the Mets got swept at Wrigley Field, deGrom gave up four runs on five hits on June 5th, but did not earn a decision. After recording four quality starts to start out his career, he was still seeking his first career win.

On June 11th he took another loss, this one at Citi Field against the Milwaukee Brewers. On June 16th he had his worst outing of the year; the St. Louis Cards scored six runs on twelve hits, as he exited in the 5th inning. deGrom’s ERA reached a season worst 4.39, as he fell to 0-4.

On June 21st in Miami, deGrom rebounded his season. The youngster had reached his lowest point, he showed everyone what he was made of & it was all uphill from here. deGrom tossed seven shutout innings against the Marlins, striking out seven, while earning his first career win in the Mets 4-0 win.

From there he entered July with two more no decisions on the road in Pittsburgh & Atlanta. On July 8th he threw another seven shutout innings, matching his season high (up to that point) 13 strike outs in a 8-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.

That night he recorded the teams 4000th franchise career victory. The eight runs were the most run support he got from the Met offense. The club hadn’t scored more than five in runs in any game he had pitched in up that point & had scored eight runs over the four previous games he started.

He closed out the first half of the season with back to back wins for the first time, as he had a 9-1 win over the Marlins at Citi Field. That night at the plate he also collected his first career RBI. Back on the mound, he had only allowed one run in seven innings & one run in the previous 14 innings. He went into the All Star break at 3-5 72 strike outs & a 3.18 ERA.

On July 22nd, deGrom brought his talent up the North West, as he dazzled the hot Seattle Mariners with his third straight win. In seven innings, he allowed just one run, striking out seven & walking one in the 3-1 Mets win. 

On July 27th, at Milwaukee, he pitched 6.1 shutout innings against the Brewers, earning his fourth straight win. Over the past four games, deGrom had only allowed two earned runs in 21 innings pitched & struck out thirty batters. He earned the Rookie of the Month honors for the month of July.

On August 2nd, he had another fine outing, beating the eventual 2014 World Champion Giants in San Francisco. He pitched into the 8th inning, allowing just two runs with one walk & striking out seven in the Mets 4-2 win over Jake Peavy. At this point he had got his record up to 6-5 with a 2.77 ERA, getting a lot of attention around the league.

After a no decision in Washington & a loss at Los Angeles, he got his seventh win of the year, with another one run seven inning performance at Citi Field, coming against the Philadelphia Phillies.

As September began, the Mets went back south to Miami, there they beat the Marlins 4-3, with deGrom earning no decision. He pitched six innings allowing just a run. For the rest of the season, deGrom seemed to just get better & stronger in each outing. September earned him another Rookie of the Month honor as well. On September 9th, he won his eighth game of the year, with a spectacular eight innings, nine strike out, shut out against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field.

On September 15th, he tied an MLB record, as he struck out the first eight batters he faced. In the game where the Met bull pen would blow it for him, he would strike out a season high 13 batters, in a 6-5 loss to the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. In seven innings he gave up three runs on six hits, but walked just one.

On September 21st, he struck out ten batters in Atlanta, allowing two runs on three hits in six innings pitched, earning his 9th victory of the year. It was his final start of the year as the team chose to shut him down for his final start. 

deGrom at the Veterans Day Parade 2014 in NY
deGrom won eight of his last nine decisions, finishing the year at 9-6 with 144 strike outs & 43 walks in 140 innings pitched, posting a 2.69 ERA.

deGrom would earn the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year honors as well as getting voted the NL's top Rookie by the players.

He is the third Mets pitcher in team history to earn Rookie of the Year honors: Tom Seaver (1967) Jon Matlack (1972) & Dwight Gooden (1984).

deGrom said: "It's great to be recognized by your fellow players. Knowing your peers think this highly of you is extremely gratifying, but Spring Training will be here before you know it and I want to focus on next season and helping the team make the postseason."

Family: In the off season, he married his long time girl friend Stacey Harris, in a ceremony in Florida. The two originally met through mutual friends at a bull riding event. They honeymooned in Hawaii.

Trivia: deGrom has become a very popular Met very quickly, certainly his great pitching & Rookie of the Year Award has helped that.

But his long hair has also made him a Mets folk hero, when he thought about a hair cut in the off season, the club begged him not too.

In his honor Mr. Met actually donned a deGrom style wig in 2014. In 2015 the Mets held a Jacob deGrom garden gnome day in his honor."I think the gnome is cool," deGrom said. "It's funny. It's special that I am the first Mets' player to have gnome. I might stick in my bag and take it on the road when we travel."

When he takes the mound his choice of warm up music is Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man".

2015 NL Championship Season: 2015 began with lots of excitement around a strong Mets pitching staff. deGrom lost his first outing, although he allowed just two runs in six innings.

On April 13th, he shut out the Philadelphia Phillies over seven innings, earning a 2-0 Mets win. On April 18th he shut out the Miami Marlins at Citi Field, earning his second win. Since his first start he had pitched 18 scoreless innings, posting an 0.93 ERA.

After falling to a 2-3 record, he entered May with a nine strike out, one run seven inning performance over the Baltimore Orioles. He then posted horrible outing at Wrigley Field, allowing four runs in a 4-3 loss to the Cubs. He then got back to .500 with a win over the Milwaukee Brewers..

On May 21st, he had his best start of the year, it came at Citi Field in a 5-0 shut out of the St. Louis Cardinals. After allowing a single to Matt Carpenter in the 1st inning, deGrom shut down the next 24 Cardinal batters he faced. deGrom allowed just one hit, shutting out the Cards for eight innings while striking out a season high eleven.

Had Jeurys Familia not surrendered a hit in the ninth inning, the Mets would have had their 39th one-hitter.

In his next start he pitched into the 8th inning allowing just two runs, but earned no decision in the Mets 5-4 win. On June 1st he had another outstanding outing, allowing just two hits in eight innings while shutting out the Padres 7-0 in San Diego. Six days later on June 7th, he bested his record to 7-4 with a win over the D-backs at Arizona. That week he earned the Player of the Week Award.

On June 13th, he allowed just one run in seven innings but the Mets bullpen blew it, as they took a heart breaking 5-3 extra inning loss to the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

Quotes:“Today was the best mechanically I’ve been,” deGrom said.

On June 25th deGrom had another of his best outings for 2015. In a 2-0 Mets shut out in Milwaukee, he shut out the Brewers for eight innings allowing just four hits while striking out seven.

In July after a loss he won two more games first winning at San Francisco, beating Jake Peavey while striking out ten batters & then  helped the Mets avoid a sweep in Washington as he beat the Nationals in a six inning two run performance.

2015 All Star Game: deGrom was named to the 2015 All Star Team& dazzled in the 6th inning of the game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. deGrom struck out the side of American Leaguers in the top of the 6th inning.

On July 26th at Citi Field, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, in an NLDS preview he went up against Zack Grienke & pitched a two hit shut out into the 8th inning. The Mets went on to a 3-2 walk off win, as Juan Uribe provided the heroics with deGrom earning no decision.

In August as the Mets went on a tear with the additions of Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Steven Matz,  Kelly Johnson & Juan Uribe, deGrom would go 2-1 but the team would win five of his six starts. On August 1st, he allowed two runs in six innings to the Nats earning no decision in the Mets 3-2 win, as Lucas Duda hit two HRs & had an RBI double in the 8th inning.

On August 12th he shut out the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field for seven innings, striking out ten batters once again while earning his 11th win of the year. He followed with an interleague win at Baltimore against the Orioles.

On September 9th in Washington D.C., he beat Steven Strasburg & the Nationals once again this time in a 5-3 Mets win, as the Nats fell seven games back and were pretty much done for the year. On September 27th, the day after the Mets clinched the NL East title, deGrom beat the Reds in Cincinnati earning his final win of the regular season.

He would pitch four innings of the 1-0 Mets win over the Nats in the final game of the regular season as well.

For 2015 deGrom followed up his Rookie of the Year season going 14-8 (7th most wins in the NL) with a .636 win loss % (9th best in the NL) His 2.54 ERA was 4th best in the league.

He struck out 205 batters (8th most in the NL) with a 9.66 strike out per nine inning ratio (5th best in the NL) & a 5.35 strikeout/base on balls ratio (also 5th best). Overall he walked just 38 batters in 191 innings pitched for a 1.79 walks per nine innings ratio (8th best) in 30 starts.

2015 NLDS: deGrom opened up the Mets post season ,getting the nod over Matt Harvey. On Friday October 9th, 2015 the Mets played their first post season game in a decade, it was in front of 54,428 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. degrom went up against another of the leagues best; Clayton Kershaw.
deGrom was outstanding blanking the Dodgers for seven innings, striking out 13 along the way establishing a Mets post season record. He would walk just one throwing 121 pitches beating Kershaw 3-1. Daniel Murphy homered & David Wright provided a two run single.

The Mets had taken a two game to one series lead, but Kershaw beat the Mets in Game #4 at Citi Field to fore a Game 5 back in Los Angeles. On October 15th Jacob deGrom went up against Zack Greinke. The Mets scored in the top of the 1st as Curtis GRanderson singled & Danierl Murphy doubled.

But in the bottom of the 1st, deGrom was shaky as was Greinke. Four straight singles gave the Dodgers a two run lead. But deGrom shut down the Dodgers fscoring rom that point on. He would just allow two more hits the rest of the way, but did walk three.

As the Mets went ahead on a Daniel Murphy HR, degrom left as the winning ptcher of record. Noah Syndergaard came on for an outstanding relief performance in the 8th & Jeurys Familia closed it out. The Mets were heading to the NLCS.

2015 NLCS Game #3: Itwas the first NLCS game that Wrigley Field had hosted an NLCS since 2003 & the whole Moises Alou foul ball debacle. An excited sell out crowd filled the Friendly Confines, but the Mets quieted the crowd quickly. Terry Collins gave Jacob deGrom  the ball, looking for his third post season win, going against the Cubs Kyle Hendricks (8-7 / 3.49 ERA / 167 Ks).

In the Mets 1st, David Wright then singled & was brought home by Yoenis Cespedes double to left field. The Cubs tied it with a HR by Kyle Schwabler, his second of the series. Two out singles by Anthony Rizzo & Starlin Castro got the Cubs fans excited, but deGrom then got Jorge Soler to ground out to Wilmer Flores. A 29 pitch shaky inning, ended with just one run.

This was to be another night where deGrom did not have his best fastball but pitched like an All Star & made his off speed stuff work.

In the 2nd deGrom retired the Cubs in order.In the top of the 3rd, Daniel Murphy hit his sixth post season HR, his fifth straight post season game with a HR, tying the MLB record.

The Cubs tied it in the 4th on a solo HR by Jorge Soler. But deGrom settled in, and got into his groove, retiring the side in order in each of the next three innings. His line for the night, seven innings two runs on four hits one walk & seven strike outs while earning the win. He went to 3-0 in the post season with a 2.57 ERA.

In the 6th, Cespedes & Lucas Duda finally took advantage of the shift as he sacrificed Cespedes over to second, who then stole third. Michael Conforto struck out BUT, the ball got past  the catcher & in one of the oldest ball parks rolled all the way to the brick wall. Cespedes scored easily from third base, with the go ahead run.

In the 7th, the Mets tacked on a couple of more runs. David Wright stretched a hit into a double (his third hit of the night) &
Daniel Murphy got an infield hit, while hustling out of the box.

Cespedes then singled, his third hit of the night bringing in Wright with the fourth Mets run. Duda then bounced a ball to first baseman; Anthony Rizzo. He stepped on the bag threw to the plate, but a hustling Murphy was safe making it 5-2 Mets.

Tyler Clippard had an easy 8th & lights out Jeurys Familia saved his fifth 2015 post season game. The Mets were one win away from the World Series & on the next night they completed the sweep of the Cubs.

2015 World Series: On October 28th 2015, in World Series Game #2 Jacob deGrom got his first World Series start & it was not to be a memorable one. deGrom went up against Johnny Cueto who shut down the Mets offense completely. He pitched a complete game World Series win allowing one run on a two hitter in an outstanding World Series performance. deGrom would give up four runs in five innings taking the loss.

2016: In 2016 deGrom had a fantastic April. He started the Mets third game of the season, the home Opener & he allowed just one run over six innings, giving up just five hits while striking out six Phillies in a 7-2 Mets win.

deGrom's wife gave berth to their first child, a son Jaxon, shortly after Opening Day. The baby was having trouble breathing as he slept & deGrom took a family medical emergency leave as the new born suffered through the complications. The child eventually made it through five days without any difficulties & deGrom continued to toss a few pitches at Port St. Lucie & returned to the Mets.

On April 24th he did give up eight hits, but still held down the Braves in Atlanta for just one run, earning his second win of the year. On April 30th he went to 3-0 beating Matt Cain at Citi Field, as the Mets squeaked by the San Francisco Giants 6-5.

In May his injury riddled troubles began & they would haunt his whole season. He suffered a loss as the Mets were swept in San Diego & then four straight no decisions. In two of those games he had allowed three runs or more.

On May 27th a Citi Field, he went seven innings, holding the Dodgers down to one run in an 2015 NLDS rematch. The Mets held on to a 6-5 win on Curtis Granderson's walk off HR after Jeurys Familia blew a four run lead. In June he went 0-3, despite never allowing more than three runs in a start. This gave him four straight losing decisions over the two month period.

In July his fortunes turned around, he received ten runs of offensive support on July 1st, beating the Chicago Cubs 10-2 at Citi Field. He then beat the Miami Marlins on July 6th, getting to 5-4.

On July 17th, he pitched one of his best games of his career, a one hit shut out of the Philadelphia Phillies where he struck out seven batters for the third straight games.

On August 2nd he earned his last win of the year, beating the AL New York club 7-1, in a seven inning four hit shut out performance, striking out eight. In his next two outings he allowed just one earned run but got no decisions. 

He then had three more losing decisions before going down for the year in early September. The Mets missed him dearly in the September stretch & the post season, as he had to have surgery to repair his ulnar nerve.

He closed out 2016 at 7-8 with a 3.04 ERA, striking out 143 batters & walking 36 in 148 innings pitched, 24 starts.

2017: deGrom had a successful Spring Training in 2017, getting ready for a big return.

He pitched six innings of shut out ball in his 2017 debut, on the second game of the season, as the Mets lost 3-1 to the Atlanta Braves He then had no decision in the Mets 4-3 win at Philadelphia a week later.

On April 15th he started a three game stretch where would strike out ten or more batters. It wasn't until April 28th when he defeated the Nationals in D.C. that he earned his first win, a 12 K performance where he walked just one. The Mets helped him out with a big 16 run out put in his next start, earning his second win, although he gave up five runs in five innings. 

Through mid May he was leading the NL in strike outs & on a four game win personal winning streak. He then had two bad outings giving up seven runs to the Brewers at home & eight runs to the Rangers in Texas.

But on June 12th he started a personal eight consecutive game win streak. That night he threw a complete game, one run six strike out game against the Chicago Cubs. In four June starts he allowed just one run in each game getting seven innings of work each time with three of them going eight or more innings. 

On June 18th he hit his first career HR as well, it came in a 5-1 win over the Nats. On June 30th, he struck out a season high twelve batters, in a three hit victory against the Philadelphia Phillies.

In July he got eight innings of work in twice with four more straight victories in that win streak. On July 14th he struck out 11 Rockies in the eight inning, two run, 14-2 Mets win, to give him his tenth win of the year (10-3). He took a loss to the LA Dodgers on August 4th ending the streak. On August 10th deGrom struck out nine Phillies, while shutting them out into the 7th inning as the New York rolled to a 10-0 shut out win.

He then had two poor outings in a row allowing five runs each time. On August 25th he earned his 14th win, matching his career high, in a one run performance in D.C. against the Nationals, where he struck out ten batters. He closed out the year for a bad Mets team, losing four of his last five starts. On April 16th he won his career high 15th game, beating the Atlanta Braves.

deGrom was certainly one of the only highlights of a poor Mets season. He went 15-11 (6th most wins in the NL & one of nine 15 game winners). He was second in the NL in strike outs (239) a career high & was third in Ks per nine innings (10.64). He pitched 201 innings (5th in the NL) in 31 starts walking 59 batters with a 3.53 ERA (10th in the NL). He was 8th in the Cy Young voting.

2018: In Spring Training of 2018 all the news was about deGrom cutting his famous hair. Usually his sister, a former hairdresser would trim his long hair at their parents house in DeLand Florida, at Spring Training. This year he decided it was time for a change & it made headlines.

As he got to his pitching, hestarted the second game of the year & beat the St. Louis Cards 6-2, striking out seven in a 5.2 inning performance. On April 5th he beat the Nationals in D.C. allowing two runs in six innings. After two three run outings, where he struck out 12 & 10 respectively, he threw seven innings of shut out ball but took a no decision in Atlanta on April 21st. In his next start he shut out the Padres into the 8th inning in San Diego for this third win to get to 3-0.

In May, deGrom was victim to poor Mets play & run production, just as Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack & others have been cursed with throughout the teams history. 

In a month where he allowed just two earned runs in 26 innings with 34 Ks he collected just one victory as the Mets bullpen managed to blow four of those five games. At the end of May 2018 he was leading the NL in ERA 1.82 & third in K's (83)was 4-0.

In his five year career thru May 2018 he is 49-32 with a 2.85 ERA, 816 Ks 195 walks in 746 innings in 118 games.