New York Mets fans know how special Jacob deGrom is. A look at his lifetime ERA compared to other veterans further proves the point.
We all know Jacob deGrom is a special pitcher. The New York Mets ace and reigning Cy Young winner has accomplished plenty since debuting in 2014. A list he joined earlier this year is the one featuring the ERA leaders for active pitchers with at least 1,000 innings pitched.
deGrom began the season just shy of 1,000 career innings. In what has become another stellar campaign, he has managed to carve out a comfortable spot in the number two spot on this list. Only Clayton Kershaw and his 2.44 ERA is better than the lifetime 2.66 ERA deGrom holds through 169 starts.
Perhaps even more noteworthy than the names behind him on this list is how far ahead he is. Chris Sale is in third-place with a big-league ERA just over 3.00. Behind him, we find Madison Bumgarner. After his number four spot, there we get to Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer.
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It takes a special kind of pitcher to amass 1,000-lifetime innings and to have an ERA as low as the one deGrom possesses. Although he has a few years ahead of him, deGrom is already in the company of some special players.
Looking at the list of players with ERAs near what deGrom has posted in his six-plus seasons, we find plenty of old-timers from the Dead-ball Era. None of them won Cy Youngs because they either pitched before him or they were his peers.
Speaking of Cy Young, deGrom isn’t far behind his lifetime 2.63 ERA. He could eventually catch him. Unfortunately, winning 511 games may take a couple thousand years when we consider how little run support he gets.
Just as wins aren’t everything for a pitcher, neither is earned run average. Baseball has changed plenty since the days of Ed Walsh—MLB’s all-time ERA leader at 1.81.
What makes deGrom’s achievements more impressive is how few modern players are anywhere near him. Somewhat coincidental because I’m writing this following his 169th career start, there are only 169 players with a career ERA below 3.00.
We’re not in the Steroid Era, but deGrom is pitching through a time when baseballs are leaving the park at a record pace. Somehow, in half a dozen big-league seasons, the man has paid tribute to the days where batters didn’t wear helmets and American League pitchers knew how to hit.
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In the early stage of deGrom’s career, he has been consistently brilliant. His lifetime ERA is just one example of how incredible he has been for the Mets.