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Mets: Three important lessons the team had to learn in 2020

Sep 22, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets center fielder Guillermo Heredia (15) celebrates with New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil (6) and New York Mets right fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 22, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets center fielder Guillermo Heredia (15) celebrates with New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil (6) and New York Mets right fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 26: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during game 1 of a double header at Nationals Park on September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

Lesson #2 Jacob deGrom’s Starts Cannot Be Wasted

Every season as Mets fans we always tell ourselves and whoever is listening that Jacob deGrom’s starts can not afford to go down as losses. When deGrom is on the mound you experience a start that is unlike very many others in baseball, I mean we are talking about a back-to-back Cy Young Award winner here.

But coming into this abbreviated season we all knew that the Mets were going to need to maximize every start that deGrom had made due to the team only playing 60 total regular-season games, and every single game mattering in the standings. Unfortunately, the Mets were incapable of winning all of his 12 starts, as the team went 8-4 in his starts, which is much better than they normally do when deGrom is on the mound but those four games cost the team a playoff spot.

Three of the losses with deGrom on the mound were crushing defeats that included the bullpen imploding on July 29th in Boston, the Mets falling flat on their face on August 31st against the Miami Marlins who had just gotten swept by the Tampa Bay Rays on top of making a one-day trip for a makeup game to Citi Field, and the Mets bats falling asleep on September 21st against those same Rays and only scoring 1 run against six different pitchers in a bullpen game.

The Mets are in the middle of deGrom’s prime and there is no telling how much longer he will be pitching at this elite level. The losses the Mets had when deGrom was on the mound were more magnified this season due to the shortened schedule and the Mets on the outside looking in of the playoff picture by a couple of games.

The Mets as a whole will need to have a mentality next season when deGrom is on the mound of “whatever it takes” if the ballclub is going to take advantage of the wins that their once in a generational pitcher is leaving on a silver platter for the team every fifth day.

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