The New York Mets are known as an organization that's built through pitching. They've had seven Cy Young Award winners but not a single MVP winner. Some of baseball's best arms all-time passed through Queens.
This past season, it felt like the best season by a pitcher not only in Mets history, but baseball history was taking place. Jacob deGrom has won two Cy Young Awards and is one of the best pitchers in Mets history. But he's done nothing close to what he was doing to begin this season.
In the first half, Mets ace Jacob deGrom made 15 of the best starts I've ever seen.
In those starts, he went 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA. He struck out 146 batters in just 92 innings pitched (14.3 K/9.) The record for lowest ERA in a full season is 1.12 set by Bob Gibson in 1968. deGrom was on pace to break that record after the first half.
deGrom was either dotting 100 mph fastballs on the corners or throwing wipeout sliders to make hitters look silly. He looked in complete command every single time out and was going to win the Cy Young and MVP Awards unanimously.
While the Mets don't have any seasons that impressive, they do have some very impressive single-season pitching performances. Here're the ten best.
10. R.A. Dickey - 2012
In the 2009 offseason, the Mets signed journeyman starting pitcher R.A. Dickey to a minor league deal. He was expected to be not much more than just a depth piece, but he turned out to be much more than that.
In 2010, Dickey posted a 2.84 ERA in 26 starts, followed by a 3.28 ERA in 2011. He was already outdoing what the Mets expected from him. However, the 2012 season was better than anyone could've possibly imagined.
R.A. Dickey became the first knuckleballer and the third Met pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. Dickey took home 27 of the 32 first-place votes to win the award, and he also finished 14th in the MVP race. He went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA in 33 starts. He struck out 230 batters in 233.2 innings pitched, both marks led the National League.
He was dominant from start to finish. He had a streak of 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings which included three shutouts, two of which were one-hitters. In one of those one-hit shutouts at Tampa Bay, an argument can be made that he should've had a no-hitter.
B.J. Upton hit a grounder to third base which David Wright couldn't field cleanly bare-handed, but it was ruled a hit. The Mets tried to get that changed to an error but couldn't. He struck out 12 Rays and didn't walk a batter. He followed that up with a one-hitter at home against the Orioles. He struck out 13 in that start.
Those starts were as dominant as I personally had ever seen. He was dominant pretty much all season long, going at least seven innings in 22 of his 33 starts. His 20th win came on his final home start of the season against the Pirates in a game which he got off to a slow start but allowed three runs in 7.2 innings pitched, striking out 13.
While the Mets weren't particularly good in 2012, Dickey was the big bright spot and an amazing story for someone who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro the offseason prior, and went through a lot detailed in his book just to get to that point.