Star players are typically booed on the road in Major League Baseball. This narrative has shaped the game since the beginning of baseball.
However, some athletes are constantly rewriting narratives that have stood the test of time. Jacob deGrom is not only displaying revolutionary statistics, but he is stealing the hearts of fans all over the world.
In what world does a pitcher receive MVP chants from his opponent’s fans?
I’ll tell you what world…Jacob deGrom’s.
deGrom Dominates the D-backs
The story is the same every time Jacob deGrom takes the hill: DOMINATION.
The best pitcher in baseball has a 0.71 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 51 innings of work. deGrom devoured the D-backs on Monday night, but nobody was surprised because he is that good on the mound.
deGrom had a no-hitter through five and ended up pitching six scoreless innings on Monday. He struck out eight batters and threw 70 pitches. Fifty-one of deGrom’s tosses were for strikes. He stayed on the corners all night and hit his catcher’s mitt frequently throughout the evening.
What makes deGrom’s outing more special is it was only his second start since returning from the injured list with right-side discomfort. The right-hander had a pitch limit heading into the game, and Arizona was lucky, or they probably would not have scored a run.
When deGrom opened with three 100 mph fastballs to Josh Rojas, the MVP chants started to whisper throughout Chase Field. They became louder as the night progressed.
There was a large group of Mets fans in the crowd, but Arizona supporters joined in cheering on the pitcher who is in a league of his own.
Mets’ manager Luis Rojas praised his pitcher following another night of dominant pitching.
“He was tremendous. You see this guy, it’s almost like he’s getting better and better every time he goes out there.”
Although, the most significant praise for deGrom did not come from the fans or Rojas. Arizona wing Merrill Kelly gave the pitcher some credit in his postgame presser.
“What we’re watching is definitely something special. In my mind, he’s in a league of his own. The fact that he has the stuff that he has and can command it the way that he does, I think, is probably what sets him apart the most. You know, there’s a lot of guys in this league that throw 90-100 mph, but he pitches with it, and it’s relentless, and it’s every single pitch.”
Kelly could not have summarized the two-time Cy Young winner more appropriately.
League of His Own
2021 deGrom has rarely been seen in Major League Baseball history. The pitcher’s production this season has been nothing short of remarkable.
His 0.71 ERA is the lowest for a pitcher at the end of May since Chris Short posted a 0.64 in 1964. It’s the fourth-lowest for a pitcher through eight starts since 1912 for the National League.
In the first four innings on Monday, he threw ten pitches that topped 101 mph. deGrom is phenomenal, and he is doing things that are unfair for hitters.
You could move the mound back ten feet, and the Mets’ ace would still mow down big-league bats. A healthy deGrom should excite New York fans because Pete the Polar Bear Alonso also returned to the lineup on Monday.Pete Alonso returned with a 2-5 night that included a HR on Monday
Alonso will have to carry the Mets’ battered offense, but he delivered in his return. The Polar Bear was 2-5 with four RBI and a home run. New York is in first place by 3.5 games.
New York should keep making noise as they continue to get healthy.
Tanner Kern is a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.