Jun 18, 2016

2015 NL Champion Mets Pitcher & 2014 Rookie of the Year: Jacob deGrom (2014-2016)

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.

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 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. Through May he was 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA & 37 Ks in 48 innings.

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