Friday, October 7, 2022

Dodgers’ Mookie Betts says Mets’ Jacob deGrom is ‘maybe the best’ pitcher ever

Dodgers star Mookie Betts had some kind words for Mets hurler Jacob deGrom after the teams faced off at Citi Field on Wednesday night. 

“I don’t even know how to answer,” Betts said in the locker room after the game about what it’s like to face deGrom. “He’s pretty much the best, maybe the best to ever pitch. He’s a tough task.”

Betts’ comment came after his team took a 2-1 loss. Although the Dodgers outfielder was able to register a home run against DeGrom, he admitted that it was very challenging. 

DeGrom has been dealing with a stress reaction injury in his right shoulder this year, which has caused him to miss a lot of playing time. Wednesday was his first start in nearly a week. He threw 93 pitchers through a season-high seven innings. DeGrom surrendered one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out nine batters. By the end of the night, deGrom’s ERA had dropped from 2.15 to 1.98 this season. 

When asked what the most difficult part of facing deGrom was, Betts didn’t have a specific answer. 

“All of it, and he just kind of lives on the edge too… It’s very hard to hit off him,” he said. 

The Dodger star has a point about deGrom being in the conversation of best pitchers to ever take the mound.

DeGrom has allowed one or fewer runs in 100 of his first 204 career starts, a stat that ranks as the best in MLB history. He has also allowed the second lowest walks and hits per innings pitched (0.9985) in league history, and the lowest in 112 years. Only Addie Joss had a better WHIP of 0.9678 — all the way back in 1910. 

His pitches are faster than ever before, too. DeGrom is averaging a 99.3 mph fastball, a 93.0 mph slider and a 92.8 mph changeup. His slider and changeup speeds are the fastest in the league, while his fastball is fifth-best.

DeGrom has the third best swinging strikes per swing in MLB with a 43% whiff. Only his teammate Edwin Diaz and Alex Lange are doing better. 

The Mets are at the top of the NL East standings with an 83-48 record. Meanwhile, the Dodgers lead the NL West with a 90-39 record, good for the best in the MLB

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