The Mets have something very special in Jacob deGrom this season. The 30-year-old ace is having one of the best 15 game starts in franchise history.
His ERA right now stands at 1.51 and he’s recorded 120 strikeouts in just 95.1 innings. Two of those starts were cut short due to injury, and had he pitched those games in full, his numbers could have been so much better.
Let’s take a look at some of the other Mets pitchers who have put up some great numbers during their first 15 games of a season.
R.A. Dickey: 2012
Let’s start off with one of the most recent occurrences. In 2012, R.A. Dickey was fantastic en route to a Cy Young award.
Nobody really expected it because his season didn’t start out all that great. In fact, in just his third start of the season, he gave up eight runs against the braves. He finished April that season with a 4.45 ERA.
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Then things started falling into place. By the time the end of June came around, Dickey had his legendary scoreless streak and his ERA was dropping every day.
In June, Dickey had a streak where over the course of just 17 days he had three complete games where he gave up no earned runs.
His 15th start of the season came on June 24th and he gave up five runs. Even with that bad start, his ERA during those 15 starts stood at 2.31 and he had 106 strikeouts over 105 innings. His 11-1 record was also really impressive.
David Cone: 1988
In 1988, David Cone had a crazy stretch of 15 games. During that time, Cone came out of relief for the first seven games and started the next seven.
His ERA as a reliever was terrible. His ERA was 3.63 after his seven appearances. Once he began starting games, everything clicked. In his first start, he threw a complete game shutout. He also had two starts in June where he went ten innings, but each time earned the no-decision.
Through his 15 games, Cone’s ERA was 1.81 and he had a 7-1 record with one hold. During his eight starts, he had four outings of at least eight innings, showing great consistency and ability to pitch late. Even though he spent a month in the bullpen, he went on to throw more than 230 innings that season.
Jerry Koosman: 1968
In 1968m Koosman started off the season with thunder. Two straight shutouts and a complete game is one hell of a way to start a season. In fact, during his first 15 starts, he had eight complete games and he didn’t give up more than two earned runs in any of them.
In those 15 starts, he pitched 119.1 innings and pitched to a 1.81 ERA. His strikeouts were very low, but he was more than capable of keeping runs off the board. He went on to throw more than 260 innings that year and finished with a 2.08 ERA.
Tom Seaver: 1975
Throuhgout the 1975 season, Tom Seaver was able to keep his ERA hovering between 1.8 and 2.3. He also consistently threw complete games, making this one of the best seasons in Mets history.
Through his first 15 games, Seaver had a very impressive ten complete games and pitched to a 1.78 ERA. The only thing that wasn’t really there was strikeouts, as he recorded only 93 in 121.2 innings.
He finished that stretch with a 10-4 record and went to finish the season with a 22-9 record and a 2.38 ERA.
Dwight Gooden: 1985
Dwight Gooden was a star in 1985 and probably the closest comparison to what deGrom is doing this season. He refused to give up runs that season and struck batters out left and right.
By the end of his first 15 games, he was pitching to a 1.66 ERA and had 125 strikeouts over 119.1 innings. After this stretch, Gooden’s record was 10-3 and he went on to finish the season with a 1.53 ERA while also winning the Cy Young award.
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Let’s see where deGrom can go from here. There’s still more than half a season to go, so let’s see if he can crack 250 strikeouts and keep his ERA below 2.