Mets win series over Doders 3-2
I - NYM 3; LAD 1
II - LAD 5; NYM 2
III - NYM 13; LAD 7
IV - LAD 3; NYM 1
V - NYM 3; LAD 2
Many consider Jacob deGrom's two NLDS mound opponents the Los Angeles Dodgers' modern day equivalents of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale - and for good reason.
Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke deserve no audit from me, but, just to keep things in perspective, Kershaw is a three-time, and reigning back-to-back N.L. Cy Young award winner. He posted a 16-7 regular season record with a 2.13 ERA. His 232.2 innings pitched, 301 strikeouts, and 4 complete games all led the National League.
Having just ended his fourth season with the Dodgers, Zack Greinke was originally a Kansas City Royals product. After posting a 19-3 record this season, he is no less a Cy Young candidate than Kershaw. Greinke led the National League with a minuscule 1.66 ERA and 0.844 WHiP.
Last year's Rookie of the Year opposed them both, won each time, and did so on the road. While the Mets indeed owe Daniel Murphy a large debt of gratitude for his NLDS exploits, make no mistake, the Mets are opening the NLCS today primarily due to the right arm of Jacob deGrom, and his brilliant competitive spirit.
Regardless what the near future brings, Jacob's name has officially been etched among the New York Mets greatest ever post-season performances. He tied a franchise record with a deGrominating performance in the NLDS opener, then followed-up with one of the guttiest efforts Mets fans have ever seen, during the Amazin's decisive Game 5 victory in Los Angeles.
Jacob deGrom outlasted Kershaw in Game One for the victory, pitching 7 scoreless innings of five-hit baseball. He walked one, and tied a post-season franchise record with 13 strikeouts first set by Tom Seaver back in 1973 against the Big Red Machine.
Jacob then faced off against L.A.'s other Cy Young candidate, and Game Two winner Zack Greinke. In the fifth and deciding game of the NLDS, last year's Rookie of the Year quite literally willed himself through 27 batters, and laboriously threw 105 pitches with 67 (63%) going for strikes. He somehow limited the Dodgers to a pair of earned runs on five hits and three walks over six innings, with seven strikeouts.
In truth, however, the Mets leading starter of 2015 spent the first 5 innings of the game escaping trouble like a squirrel crossing Queens Boulevard:
- 1st inning: Surrendered 4 straight singles then fanned the final two batters.
- 2nd inning: After issuing a walk, and an E-6, he fanned the final two batters.
- 3rd inning: Surrendered a lead-off double, issued a walk, and left them stranded.
- 4th inning: Issued his third walk of the evening to the lead-off batter.
- 5th inning; Surrendered a 1-out double and fanned two batters.
- 6th inning: Retired the side in order.
- 7th inning: Retired side in order, struck out last two batters he faced.
So where exactly does Jacob deGrom's NLDS performance rate in Mets post-season history?
Two starts: 2-0 record, 13 innings, 1.38 ERA, 11 hits, 4 walks, 20 strikeouts
Jerry Koosman famously turned in two stellar efforts during the 1969 World Series against the Orioles; Tom Seaver not so much.
In 1973, however, Seaver opened the NLCS with an 8.1 inning/13 strikeout performance against the Cincinnati Reds, but allowed a pair of solo home runs during a brutal 2-1 Mets loss. In Game Three of the World Series against the A's, Seaver again topped double digit strikeouts (12), but again failed to achieve a victory.
Dwight Gooden's two-start performance in the 1986 NLCS against the Astros deserves mention. In 17 innings, he allowed 16 hits, just 2 earned runs, walked 5 and struck out 9 batters. However, he managed no victories either.
In 1988, Dwight Gooden put forth a pair of dominant, albeit unlucky performances. He opened the NLCS against the Dodgers with a 7 inning/10 strikeout performance, but earned a no decision. He pitched 8.1 innings in Game Four, struck out 9 more batters, and yielded 5 hits, but none more damaging than Mike Scioscia's 9th inning home run that sent the game deep into extra-innings.
Bobby Jones pitched a brilliant 1-hit shutout in the clinching game of the 2000 NLDS over the San Francisco Giants. Mike Hampton then drew the spotlight with a stellar 2-0 record against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. He pitched the series opener, and the Game Five clincher, compiling 16 scoreless innings of 9 hit baseball, with 4 walks, and 12 strikeouts. In the World Series, Al Leiter pitched commendably in two starts against the Yankees.
Dwight Gooden, Jacob deGrom, and Tom Seaver, are the only three Mets pitchers to post double-digit strikeouts in a post-season game. deGrom also won both his games, while Doc and Seaver can not say the same. However, Mike Hampton can, but he was not as deGROMinating as Jacob was.
So where does this all place Jacob deGrom's performance in Mets post-season history?
It's certainly near the top.
All I know is his resiliency owned Game Five in Los Angeles.