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Jacob deGrom makes Mets’ history with 200th strikeout

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Mets’ hurler Jacob deGrom pitched himself into the history books on Friday, whiffing 10 of 29 batters over 7 2/3 innings against the Nationals. The strong start was a breath of fresh air for the right-hander, whose win snapped a rough two-game losing streak and marked his ninth start with double-digit strikeouts this season.

The penultimate strikeout of deGrom’s outing, a three-pitch knockdown against Michael A. Taylor, placed the pitcher in rare company. He now owns 200 strikeouts on the year (201 following his inning-ending punch-out against Alejandro De Aza) and is one of four Mets’ pitchers with multiple 200-strikeout seasons under his belt, including Tom Seaver (1968-1976), Dwight Gooden (1984-1986, 1990) and David Cone (1988, 1990-1992).

While deGrom has yet to match the sparkling pitching line he posted in 2015, he needs just five more strikeouts to eclipse his all-time single-season strikeout record of 205. He entered Friday’s competition with a 3.49 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and career-best 10.4 SO/9 through 165 innings in 2017.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.