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Jacob deGrom ends 2018 with 1.70 ERA

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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.

Donald Trump wants Curt Schilling in the Hall of Fame

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We’ve talked a lot about Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame candidacy over the years.

Bill has argued that, if voters are going to use the character clause to keep certain players out, they should keep Curt Schilling out. I’ve differed on that, not because I think Schilling is a good person — he’s loathsome, actually — but because I find the character clause to be illegitimate and would never, if I had a vote, use it to impact my vote. So, yes, I’d put Schilling on my ballot if I had one.

I’m not alone in this, of course. At the moment Schilling has support on about 72% of ballots which have been made public. My guess is that he’ll fall a tad short when results are announced tomorrow — non-public ballots tend to include fewer players on them — but we’ll see.

I am not the only non-BBWAA member who would vote for Schilling. He’s got some top level support too. From the President of the United States:

Ballots had to be submitted by December 31, so it’s not like this is gonna have any impact on the vote totals. If it came earlier, though, one wonders if it would. And one wonders if that’d help Schilling or hurt him.