There has not been more of a hard luck pitcher than Jacob deGrom this season. While he has put up Cy Young-level performances, posting sub-2.00 ERA and striking out more than five times as many batters as he has walked, he pitches for the New York Mets so those great performances have not turned into wins all that often.
The poor defense and lack of run support meant that, heading into today’s outing against the Cincinnati Reds, deGrom only had a record of 5-7 despite that sparking ERA, despite all of those strikeouts, despite the minimal number of walks allowed and despite the fact that — once you controlled for the subpar fielder’s behind him — he’s been arguably the best pitcher in the National League this year. Not many players have done more to help their teams win than deGrom and not many have had so little help in doing it.
Today, however, was different. deGrom was his usual dominant self, tossing six shutout innings, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out ten. The difference: he got a little run support, thanks to five runs when he was the pitcher of record and three more after he left the game with a 5-0 lead. One of those runs came via his own plate patience when he drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning. Others helping deGrom’s cause: Brandon Nimmo, who had two RBI doubles and knocked in three in all and Austin Jackson, who hit two RBI doubles and singled in a third run himself.
With that, deGrom was awarded his sixth win of the season and his first since June 18, when it was still technically spring. He also lowered his ERA to 1.77, helping his already strong argument for the NL Cy Young Award, even if he’s unlikely to even notch a dozen wins and may not even get ten if the Mets continue to be the Mets.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.