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The Most Important Week, Part 3: The Sun King

The Mets. So hot right now.

Jacob deGrom by slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Most Important Week, Part 3: The Sun King

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Luis Guillorme was hitting .156 before this game.

In six years in the minors, he’s only hit four home runs.

In 56 games and 107 plate appearances, Luis Guillorme had never hit a home run in a major league game.

Until tonight.

Guillorme’s solo shot in the bottom of the 8th against Fernando Rodney tied the game and gave the Mets 7-game win streak a chance at extending. As it sailed into the night sky, the magic that’s been swirling around Citi Field for the last month stopped time. The Mets are magic. The Mets are… Amazing.

First, it was Todd Frazier in the ninth. Now it’s Luis Guillorme in the 8th.

Now all they have to do is seal the deal and the sweep, and they can do it behind arguably the greatest daytime pitcher in the game: Jacob deGrom.

Jacob deGrom won the 2018 Cy Young and the only argument against him for the award was his record. A pitcher’s record is nonsense. There are a lot of moving parts that go into wins and losses and decisions, etc. We could talk about this for days. The fact of the matter is this, Jacob deGrom got almost no run support in 2018, but still kept his ERA below 2.00, or 1.77 to be exact.

Jake hasn’t been as stiflingly dominant this season, but he’s still the undisputed Ace of this Mets club. His 7-7 record doesn’t tell the whole story but does illuminate an old habit that haunts him. Much like Rodney Dangerfield, deGrom gets no respect from his teammates.

In his 23 starts this season, deGrom has gotten between ZERO and two runs in support from his teammates in EIGHT starts, accounting for 1 win and 4 losses of his record. In those starts, deGrom pitches better than he does when he gets more than two runs. The guy pitches better when no one’s around to help him out. Jacob deGrom is doing it by himself.

In the daylight? Jacob deGrom is unstoppable.

Last season, deGrom finished the season with a 1.70 ERA, a 0.912 WHIP, an 11.2 k/9, and a tough 10-9 record. You know, Cy Young numbers. In the daytime, deGrom has career numbers of a 1.86 ERA, 1.015 WHIP, a .206 BAA, and 10.4 k/9.

In 2019, he’s been even better. During his four daylight starts this year, deGrom holds a 1.13 ERA, a 1.167 WHIP, a 12.8 k/9, all while only surrendering 3 earned runs. That’s so insane you should have the guy committed.

In addition to that, deGrom has been deGrominant against the Nationals in his two starts against them, posting a 0.75 ERA, 0.917 WHIP, a .167 BAA and a 13.5 k/9.

The Nationals would have a better time cracking a safe in 30 seconds than getting to deGrom.

On the other side of the diamond is a different story.

When the Nationals signed Anibal Sanchez to a two-year, $19 million dollar deal ahead of the 2019 season, they were filling a void they’ve had since… forever. After years of teetering on the edge with fifth starter in A.J. Cole, the Nats saw Sanchez as a viable option, and they’re not wrong.

Sanchez, who had a tough go of things in Detroit after signing a big deal with them in 2012, put up decent numbers as a member of division rival Atlanta. The Venezuelan born right-hander put up a decent 7-6 record, accompanied by a 2.83 ERA, 1.083 WHIP and an 8.9 k/9. Not too shabby for a 35-year-old pitcher who seemed past his prime. While his record is the same in 2019, Sanchez has seen his numbers go up across the board.

To make matters worse, his numbers grow larger when you add the Mets to the equation.

In his career, Sanchez has pitched in 15 games against the Mets. Within those 15 starts, he owns a 4.06 ERA, 1.512 WHIP, and allows Mets hitter to lace hits to the tune of .280 average.

We’re also at Citi Field… and Sanchez’s number’s balloon once again. In the 5 games he’s pitched at Queens, “Flyball” Sanchez posts a 5.34 ERA, a whopping 1.814 WHIP, all the while getting rocked at a .304 clip. Tough numbers for Sanchez to overcome.

Is it possible that Anibal Sanchez proves me wrong? Absolutely. Is it possible the Mets will never lose another game again? No. To quote the late great Earl Weaver, “The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three-run homers. You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance.”

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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