This is how baseball life should be for Jacob deGrom. The wins should come fast and furious.
Just as the runs finally did for the Mets on a hot Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field.
DeGrom, the best pitcher in the majors, is putting a lock on the NL Cy Young Award without the Ws. He pitched six shutout innings and the Mets, for a change, scored runs for deGrom in an 8-0 victory over the Reds, making deGrom’s life so much easier.
The right-hander improved to 6-7. His shrink-wrap ERA dropped to 1.77, the best in the majors. The next best ERA in the NL is Max Scherzer at 2.28.
On this day it was Cy deGrom, not Sigh deGrom.
“That’s the highest honor any pitcher could have,’’ deGrom said of the award.
DeGrom should be something like 15-2, but the Mets’ hitters and bullpen did not do their job in his starts. DeGrom’s approach never wavers.
“I try to keep guys from getting around the bases,” he said.
Keep it simple. Like his warm-up song: “Simple Man,’’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Teammates finally contributed. The bullpen and the hitters did not put up the Prevent Win Defense against deGrom. Brandon Nimmo led the way with a franchise-tying three doubles.
The win was deGrom’s first victory since June 18 and, somehow, his first home win since May 18. No home wins in June and July.
The Mets, as an organization, need to learn from their mistakes. It starts right here at home, at Citi Field. The Mets must do a better job of fielding a team that fits its spacious ballpark and allows an ace like deGrom to deGrominate at home.
Check out these not so Amazin’ numbers: The Mets are dead last in the NL in home batting average, having come into Wednesday’s game with a .214 mark.
They are eighth in the league with a road batting average of .245.
This is not just a one-time thing. Over the last seven years, the Mets have been either last or 14th in home batting average in the NL, yet in that same time they have been no lower than sixth in road batting average in the league.
On Wednesday, the Mets did a good job of putting the ball in play and using the entire field. The eight runs came without benefit of a home run and could be a template on how to build the team in the future. A little less reliance on the home run and using the dimensions to their favor. Reds pitchers helped by issuing 11 walks.
The Mets new slogan should be: Do it for deGrom.
This is why the Mets need to keep deGrom, but they also need to get him the kind of team that can build victories. Put the ball in play, take walks, run the bases well, play defense. It’s called baseball for a reason.
Use deGrom as a strength; don’t just wish and hope that he wins 1-0 or 2-1 on a home run.
Management needs to do the right thing and not make deGrom the poster child for the “He deserves to win the Cy Young Award even though he doesn’t have the wins” club.
Hitting coach Pat Roessler and his assistant Tom Slater have been working overtime trying to get the young Mets hitters to understand the value of putting the ball in play.
Sandy Alderson’s teams were built around the home run. At spacious Citi Field, there has to be more. The Mets need to build the anti-Alderson team in the future.
Are they capable? Do they have the creative know-how, the will and the checkbook to do so?
The Reds had a brutal day fundamentally, and that proved deadly against deGrom. DeGrom does not make mistakes. If you make one against him, you are in trouble. The Reds made a bunch, fielding, running the bases and not bunting correctly.
The Reds looked like the Mets.
On Monday, the Yankees will get to face deGrom at Yankee Stadium.
DeGrom will show up. Will the rest of the Mets?