Before his season-ending injury, New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom was on track to have the greatest pitching season in Major League Baseball history.
The right-hander had posted an astonishing 1.02 ERA (earned-run-average) through 15 starts, striking out 146 batters while walking only 11.
The 33-year-old was well on his way to beating the ERA record of 1.12 set by legendary St Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson in 1968.
However, in a season riddled with injuries for the Mets, right shoulder tendinitis and inflammation of the UCL stopped him on 7 July from throwing another pitch in the 2021 season.
A once in a generation pitcher, deGrom is showing no sign of decline. Like a fine wine, he gets better with age.
Here’s a 30 second video of Jacob deGrom throwing 🔥 that you need. pic.twitter.com/aDM2lcKeg7
— New York Mets (@Mets) March 12, 2022
The tendency is that pitchers’ velocity decreases as they get older, but deGrom’s has increased, averaging an incredible 99.2 MPH on his fastball.
Along with the dominant fastball, according to Baseball Savant, deGrom also throws the fastest slider in the MLB, which tops out at 95 mph, with his 17.7 revolutions in the top five for slider break.
If it was not hard enough already, deGrom has elite control of his fastball, slider, changeup and curveball as he walked the least number of batters amongst national league pitchers.
The two-time CY Young winner began the 2021 season by surrendering only two earned runs in 35 innings, leaving him with an incredible 0.51 ERA.
He continued his dominant stretch right through the month of June and ended the month on a 0.69 ERA, the lowest at that point in MLB history.
Before he was shut down for the season, deGrom surrendered five earned runs in his last two starts, but still would have finished over a point ahead of the next pitcher in ERA.
His season was destined for the history books, but even the Mets injury curse doesn’t forget the best pitcher in baseball.
Bob Gibson’s record still stands alone as the greatest pitching season in MLB history, but there is always 2022 for deGrom.
(Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images)
Alex is the Mets correspondent for Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @AlexWorth17