Mets starter Jacob deGrom finished his 2018 season with a flourish, tossing eight scoreless innings against the NL East champion Braves. He held them to two hits while walking none and striking out 10 on 110 pitches. The Mets went on to win 3-0.
deGrom finishes with a 10-9 record despite a 1.70 ERA and a 269/46 K/BB ratio in 217 innings. The right-hander’s ERA is the lowest since Zack Greinke put up a 1.66 mark for the Dodgers in 2015. Before that, no starter had pitched enough innings to qualify for the Cy Young Award and put up an ERA of 1.70 or lower since Greg Maddux in the strike-shortened 1994 and ’95 seasons (1.56 and 1.63, respectively). deGrom is just the fifth pitcher to post an ERA of 1.70 or lower since 1969. The others, besides the two aforementioned Maddux seasons and Greinke: Dwight Gooden (1.53 in 1985 for the Mets) and Nolan Ryan (1.69 in 1981 for the Astros).
deGrom is the presumptive favorite for the Cy Young Award in the National League. His competitors are the Phillies’ Aaron Nola and the Nationals’ Max Scherzer. deGrom may also pick up some MVP votes, deservingly. If he does win the Cy Young, he would have the fewest wins by a starting pitcher who won the award. Félix Hernández currently holds the record with 13 wins in 2010 with the Mariners. Before him, Tim Lincecum won 15 en route to the Cy Young in 2009 with the Giants.
Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.
After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”
Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]
Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”