After putting together one of the most dominant pitching performances in recent memory last season, Jacob deGrom set the bar pretty high for himself in 2019.
So far, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner has somehow looked even better than he did last year.
Through his first two starts, deGrom is 2-0 and has yet to surrender a run, allowing eight hits over 13 innings while racking up 24 strikeouts to only two walks.
Former manager and MLB Network analyst Joe Girardi joined "Mike's On" Tuesday to discuss a wide variety of MLB topics, including the performance of the Mets ace.
"Not only does he have really good stuff, and not only does he have a fastball that will get up to 97 (mph), but he really knows how to pitch," Girardi told Mike Francesa. "He has great command. He knows how to move the ball in and out. He knows how to change speeds. He knows how to go up in the zone. He's just really, really a complete pitcher that is on top of his game.
"His run is as good as anyone's I've ever seen over a year's period. It's fun to watch. ... I think because of this pitching that the Mets have, they're going to be a factor all year long."
While deGrom has left his mark on the two games he has started, rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has made his presence felt at the plate in almost every game.
Alonso has 37 at-bats under his belt thus far this season, with an impressive slash line of .382/.432/.824. The 24-year-old has three home runs, 11 RBI and six doubles, and is near the top of the list for almost every offensive category among rookies.
At some point this season, pitchers across the league will adjust to Alonso's strengths and weaknesses.
Until that happens, Girardi is confident that the rookie will continue to impose his will at the plate.
"You look, and I consider him dangerous because he's got power to all fields," Girardi said about the Mets' promising young first baseman. "And when guys have power to all fields, you can't necessarily pitch him one way, and he's shown that already."
Moving across town, the Yankees have not gotten off to the most encouraging start in 2019, beginning the season 5-5.
The roster has certainly been ravaged by injuries, but one pitcher who is seemingly healthy yet does not look like his normal self on the mound is Aroldis Chapman.
The closer has been known for his electric speed throughout his career, consistently hitting triple digits on the radar gun. However, through his first five innings this year, Chapman's velocity has been wildly inconsistent.
Even if Chapman's decrease in velocity is a long-term issue, Girardi still feels that the 31-year-old has enough talent to get by with his other pitches.
"I think that's been happening over the years," Girardi said on the decrease in velocity on Chapman's fastball. "And I think that's why he's been throwing more sliders. He's got a really good slider. And he's actually got a really good changeup. You see so many guys that throw 97-98 now, it's not such a surprise anymore. The huge advantage that he had, you're seeing a lot more of it...
"He can be really successful with the stuff that he has."