Mets’ Jacob deGrom can’t afford misstep in tight Cy Young race


PHILADELPHIA — Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish are lurking, awaiting any Jacob deGrom misstep.

By this point in the last two Septembers, deGrom’s chances of winning the National League Cy Young Award were already extremely tilted in his favor. If deGrom has the edge in this condensed season, it isn’t as pronounced.

The Mets ace will get the ball Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park, with a NL-leading 1.67 ERA. Behind him are Bauer (1.71) and Darvish, who has a 2.00 mark after giving up three earned runs to the Indians on Tuesday.

Bauer was leading the NL in WHIP (0.81) to deGrom’s (0.87). Bauer’s 83 strikeouts were four ahead of deGrom, who is attempting to join Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to win as many as three straight Cy Young awards.

DeGrom’s remaining starts after Wednesday are scheduled for Monday against the Rays at Citi Field and the final weekend of the season in Washington.

Jacob deGrom
Jacob deGromAP

In his last start against the Phillies, deGrom allowed one earned run on three hits over seven innings at Citi Field. He has not pitched at Citizens Bank Park this season, but owns a 2.43 ERA in seven career starts here.

Manager Luis Rojas said there hasn’t been much buzz among players and staff about Steve Cohen’s agreement to buy the Mets from the Wilpon and Katz families.

“Everyone is aware of what’s going on and what took place [Monday],” Rojas said before the Mets’ 4-1 loss to the Phillies. “But right now our focus is on the field. Our focus is on today and as you run into this type of news your focus has to go back into what we need to do.”

Jeff McNeil indicated he hasn’t given much thought to the ownership change.

“Right now we’re just focused on this year and getting to the playoffs,” McNeil said. “That is first and foremost.”

The Mets have been outscored 30-13 in the first inning, too often putting the team in chase mode for Rojas’ liking. Of the two numbers, the 30 runs allowed were more alarming.

“Rick [Porcello] is a perfect example of it,” Rojas said of the right-hander, who allowed four runs in six innings in the loss. “The more he goes through the lineup, the better he pitches, he has a better feel for his pitches. His command gets better and he gets a little more in sync. We are getting behind early. In order for us to finish strong this season that is one of the things we are going to have to start taking care of.”

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