Experts discuss: Mets ace Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher since...

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Andy Martino
·2 min read
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Jacob deGrom No. 42 home jersey
Jacob deGrom No. 42 home jersey

It’s easy to become prisoners of the moment, especially when the moment is as transcendent as Mets ace Jacob deGrom’s 15-strikeout shutout Friday night.

So instead of laying on superlatives or stretching for context, we decided to seek perspective by putting a simple question to people with expertise: "Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher I have seen since …”

Participants could answer with simply a name, or with a few lines of explanation if they chose. We kept the circle to folks actually watching deGrom now, so the answers would be as accurate as possible.

Plenty more people answered, so we’ll do this for at least another day. Here’s the first batch of insights:

Howie Rose, Mets broadcaster

What makes it challenging to find the proper comp is that we’re looking at what is the beginning of Jacob’s fourth Hall of Fame caliber season. Pedro (Martinez) and (Greg) Maddux had seven straight and Johnson six. With apologies to Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander I would not put them quite in the class of the other three. Maddux would occasionally pull the chute with a relatively low pitch count which always seemed strange to me and Johnson could be somewhat erratic from time to time, so to me, of recent vintage, Pedro’s seven year stretch is the gold standard. It will be hard for deGrom to match that at his age, but he seems to get better every year, which defies logic. At this moment, the Jacob deGrom of today is the best I’ve seen since Pedro Martinez in his prime.

Bob Klapisch, longtime New York baseball columnist now with the Newark Star-Ledger

DeGrom is the best pitcher I’ve seen since (Doc) Gooden in ’85. I was there; I covered Doc that year. He was only 20 and other-worldly. But deGrom is still improving at age 32. Remarkable.

Apr 23, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom gets ready to pitch after striking out his fourteenth batter in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
Apr 23, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom gets ready to pitch after striking out his fourteenth batter in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

David Wright, former Mets captain and teammate

Definitely the best I have ever seen in person. No disrespect to those other great pitchers but it’s not even that close. I remember watching Pedro (Martinez) on TV in the late ‘90s/early 2000s and I guess it reminds me of that type of dominance.

Anthony Recker, SNY analyst and former deGrom batterymate

Henry Rowengartner, after he stepped on a baseball and injured his arm … the first time.

Keith Hernandez, Mets broadcaster and former captain

Randy Johnson.

Stay tuned for more answers tomorrow …