Jacob deGrom will try to accomplish something Saturday that he has not yet done in his exceptional 2018 season: pick up his third win in a row.
DeGrom and the New York Mets face Jake Arrieta and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. It's the fourth of a five-game series that will wrap up with the 2018 MLB Little League Classic on Sunday night in Williamsport, Pa.
DeGrom (7-7, 1.81 ERA), a Cy Young hopeful, has the best ERA in the major leagues, and the right-hander was fifth in WHIP (0.969) and sixth in strikeouts (195) as of Friday. Still, because of a lack of run support, the Mets are 10-14 in his 24 starts this season.
They have backed up their ace lately, however. DeGrom has wins in his last two starts with the Mets, scoring eight runs in both games. He has allowed just two earned runs in 12 2/3 innings during that span while getting 22 strikeouts. He struck out 12 batters -- one short of his season high -- against the New York Yankees last Monday.
Afterward, he was not shy about saying he'd like to fill his trophy case this season.
"I've said before that I want to win a Cy Young," deGrom, 30, told MLB.com after the start. "I think that's what every starting pitcher, or pitcher in general, wants to win as a personal goal. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it."
DeGrom threw eight scoreless innings against the Phillies in his most recent start against them on July 11. He is 6-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 career starts against Philadelphia.
DeGrom will be going against the 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner. Arrieta is trying to help the Phillies make the playoffs in his first season with the club.
Arrieta has a 2.98 ERA since the start of July, and nine of the 16 earned runs he has allowed in his last eight starts came in two games against the San Diego Padres.
The right-hander gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings last Sunday in San Diego.
"I had an opportunity to get out of a couple situations with a different result. It just didn't go that way," Arrieta told MLB.com after the game. "It was a weird one. The first three innings were strange. Couldn't necessarily find it when I needed to."
Arrieta is 2-2 with a 1.99 ERA and 0.994 WHIP in eight career starts against the Mets.
Arrieta will try to get the Phillies their 69th win of the season. The Phillies (68-54) lost the first game of the series by 20 runs, but they've won the last two and improved to 41-20 at home.
Asdrubal Cabrera, who was traded to the Phillies from the Mets last month, hit an RBI double in Philadelphia's 4-2 win Friday night. Cabrera is batting .273 with six extra-base hits and eight RBIs in his last 12 games.