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.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.