03 Oct Getting to Know NY Mets Pitcher Jacob Degrom
Jacob deGrom wrapped up his 2018 National League Cy Young campaign with another dominating performance on Wednesday night of Chol Hamoed, throwing eight scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts, lowering his ERA to a major league-leading 1.70. That’s 0.75 lower than the next-lowest in the NL (Aaron Nola’s 2.45) — the last time a league ERA race finished with that wide a margin between first and second was in Pedro Martinez’s ridiculous 2000 season, when his 1.74 ERA was nearly two full runs lower than Roger Clemens’s 3.70. He leads the National League in ERA, opponents’ on-base percentage, and opponents’ slugging percentage. He’s in a virtual tie with Max Scherzer for the league lead in WHIP, and he trails Scherzer by three-hundredths in strikeout-to-walk ratio. And he allowed 10 home runs all season — Aaron Nola has allowed nine home runs in five starts this month!
Along the way, deGrom reached 1,000 strikeouts for his career with his final strikeout and pitch of the night, reaching the mark faster than any Mets pitcher in club history (872 ./₃ innings). He tied a major league record, allowing three runs or fewer in his 29th straight start.
It’s time for the right-hander to work on his Cy Young award acceptance speech!
Full Name – Jacob Anthony DeGrom
Born – June 19, 1988
Major League Debut: May 15th, 2014 vs NY Yankees
Hobbies/Interests – Hunting & Fishing
Favorite thing to do on an off day – I enjoy the big city; I’m from a small town. I like walking in Central Park and other parts of the city.
Favorite Ballpark – Right here, Citi Field. It’s a good park to pitch in.
Boyhood Idol and favorite athlete – Chipper Jones of the Braves. I grew up a Braves fan and Chipper lived near me. I looked up to him.
Biggest Influence for your career – My dad, growing up he would always be having a catch or be hitting with me. I was always working with him, great work ethic.
Favorite team growing up – Atlanta Braves.
Favorite athletes today: LeBron James and Phil Mickelson.
Who were your favorite pitchers growing up?
Again being a Braves fan, I liked Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux. I really liked Maddux, with his location and stuff, he wasn’t overpowering but threw pitches where he wanted to every time.
Meal I enjoy most: A good steak dinner
Drive: The opportunity to put on a big league uniform every day is awesome. Many people dream of that, but very few get to do it. I am thankful every day I get to put on that uniform.
First Job – I worked in a Fernery with a guy I knew. Most people have no idea what that is, but its working in a specialized garden for the cultivation and display of ferns.
Why did you decide to cut your hair?
I’m not really sure. It was getting too long, and I had it a long time, so I just thought it was time to get rid of it.
Best Advice I Ever Got – Trust yourself and your abilities.
Most Embarrassing Professional Moment – Walking out to pitcher’s mound to pitch and wearing the wrong hat, I was wearing our batting practice hat.
Whats the hardest part about preparing for a game? Calming myself down. The day of the game I get nervous and I’m tired. But once I get on the field I’m usually good to go.
Biggest Thrill To Date As An Athlete – When I was called up to the big leagues and made my Major League debut against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. Great place to make your debut in the big leagues.
What made this year so special for you personally?
In years past,I kind of got in my own head and overthinking things. Trying to do too much. Instead of taking it one pitch at a time. That was kind of my focus this year, one pitch at a time and ‘Here it is.
Let’s go right after guys.’ Looking back now it’s kind of crazy that there wasn’t really a hiccup.’’