Jacob deGrom

Mets Can Only Blame Themselves

There is way too much focus on the wrong things with the New York Mets right now. The real problems aren’t this series against the Atlanta Braves.

We did and should’ve expected more from Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. Don’t worry. We’ll see them dominate in the postseason.

Sure, Starling Marte is on the IL. This is the same Mets team who can put Jeff McNeil in right field. They also traded for Tyler Naquin and his prowess against right-handed pitching. They were built for this potentiality.

Sure, the Atlanta Braves have played great baseball since June 1. Since that date, they’re 76-32 (.704). That’s a 114 win pace.

Guess what? None of the aforementioned factors should matter one bit. The Mets being in second right now is only about the Mets.

Lost in all of this is the Mets have blown a 10.5 game lead, a historical rarity. One classic example of this was the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers, and we found out the New York Giants were cheating like the Houston Astros. That includes Bobby Thompson’s Shot Heard Round the World.

Put that aside. Over the same timeframe, the Mets have played .577 ball, which is a 93 win pace. Put another way, the Mets have theoretically played well enough to win.

Except, well, they haven’t.

Remember, the Mets entered September with a three game lead and the easiest finishing schedule in all of baseball. Because of that, this series never should have mattered.

It does because the Mets have played terribly. They are a combined 2-6 at home against the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, and Miami Marlins. That’s a four game swing in the record for a Mets team down one in the standings.

They’re 12-10 against teams with a losing record this month. That’s a .545 winning percentage. Entering this month, the Mets were 41-14 (.745) against teams with a losing record.

This Mets team should’ve had the NL East wrapped up about a week ago. That’s not hyperbole. The schedule was that bad, and this Mets team is that good.

When a team this good can’t be teams that bad, it’s on them. When they blow leads because they can’t beat bad teams, it’s on them. Saying otherwise is an outright lie, and that lie needs to stop now.

Buck Showalter Lousy Big Game Manager

If you were the New York Mets, you couldn’t ask for a better situation heading into a big series. Everything was aligned.

Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassitt were set to go. The bullpen was rested. The team had an off day. They were coming off a momentum building win.

They had everything you need for a big series. Well, everything but the manager because Buck Showalter is not a big game manager.

That was his reputation coming to the Mets. It’s the reason he has only won one postseason series and has a 9-14 (.391) record in the postseason.

Each time he makes at least one flat out wrong move per series. While we a focus on Zack Britton, there was also Bobby Chouinard and Jack McDowell. That’s just scratching the surface.

There were hopes Showalter grew as a manager. However, after the first game of this series, it’s very clear he’s the same manager he always has been. There were far too many bad decisions to conclude otherwise.

The first six were the first six. The Mets rode deGrom until his blister said he had to come out of the game. Max Fried left after five, but the Mets were obviously keeping the top of their lineup in against Colin McHugh.

The seventh was where Showalter was a disaster, and things didn’t improve.

Eduardo Escobar hit a two out double off Raisel Iglesias bringing Francisco Álvarez to the plate. At that point. Álvarez was 0-for-2 with a GIDP.

The Mets brought Daniel Vogelbach and Tyler Naquin to the Mets specifically to hit right-handed pitching. Neither batted, and Álvarez flew out to end the inning.

As noted, deGrom was out after six, and the Mets had a fully rested bullpen. For some unfathomable reason, Showalter opted for Tylor Megill.

Megill has struggled since coming off the IL. It’s difficult to know if he’s rusty or struggling to adapt to the bullpen. Megill struggled and allowed two earned.

That made a clove two run game into a far more difficult four run deficit. There was no reason for Megill to pitch there.

That’s similar to Álvarez batting. These are moves after you clinch or have a big lead. That’s not what you do when you’re in the heat of a pennant race.

This isn’t JV tryouts or the Arizona Fall League. These games count, and the Mets have to be their best in terms of deciding anything. The Mets don’t need to know what Álvarez needs to do in that spot. They need to win these games.

We saw it again in the eighth. The Mets are down four. They need base runners to get a rally going. Luis Guillorme is having a good day at the plate, and he has a .355 OBP.

Nope, we have to see how Mark Vientos hits A.J. Minter. If you are a run behind and need a big fly, that’s one thing. Vientos adds that dynamic. However, the Mets were down four. They needed Guillorme and his on base skills in the spot.

After the Mets scored one on a Tomás Nido homer, Showalter sent out Joely Rodriguez to face two right-handed batters. Rodriguez has been the Mets worst reliever all season.

Yes, it did work. However, like with Megill, this was low leverage decision making in a close high leverage game and inning. Megill and Rodriguez are supposed to be spectators in the spot.

In the top of the ninth, the bases were loaded with one out. Kenley Jansen was struggling with his command. If there was ever a spot which begged for Vogelbach, this was it.

Again, Vogelbach was brought in to face right-handed pitching. He has a 148 wRC+ against right-hanged pitching. He’s got as good an eye and is as patient at the plate as anyone.

But no, Showalter sent up Álvarez to see what he can do. Yes, you can argue he’s a power hitter, but so is Vogelbach. Against a season battled tested closer, Álvarez struck out.

Go over this game again. This was not managed as an important game for a team looking to win the NL East.

Álvarez batted twice over Vogelbach in big spots. Vientos came up for Guillorme. Megill and Rodriguez pitched over everyone.

You expect this in Spring Training. You expect this from a team trying to play spoiler and need to see something from their young players. This is not how a team with a one game less late in the season manages a game.

Again, this isn’t a blip. This is who Showalter is. It’s who he was when he was blowing the ALDS, NLDS, and Wild Card Games. This is who he is as the Mets manager.

Yes, the Mets lost because deGrom battled blisters allowing three runs. They lost because they only scored two runs. They also lost because their managed managed this game like it was Spring Training just like he does all big games.

Álvarez And Vientos Show Mets Won’t Let Mistakes Define Them

On August 2, 2022, the New York Mets traded J.D. Davis along with prospects Carson Seymour, Thomas Szapucki, and Nick Zwack. for then San Francisco Giants 1B/OF/DH Darin Ruf. It was a trade widely panned at the time due to the prospect overpay. However, this is the type of trade where if the Mets won the World Series no one would really care about the overpay.

The converse to this is naturally the overpay is highlighted when the player struggles. This is why teams typically will not admit a mistake and do everything they can to try to make the trade work. If they can get just one big hit or a small hitting streak, they can point to that to say they didn’t completely mess up. What most teams don’t realize is that player struggling mightily only makes the trade worse because the player not only struggles, but they also inhibit a team’s chances of winning.

Things with Ruf actually started great. In his first Mets plate appearance, he hit a pinch hit double. The problem is Ruf has done absolutely nothing after that. In 28 games, he is hitting .152/.216/.197 with three doubles and seven RBI. It is not hyperbole to say the Mets have gotten more from him as a pitcher (two scoreless innings in a blowout loss) than they have as a position player.

Part of this was probably the Mets fault. They took a player who played semi-regularly, and they asked him to be a pure bench/platoon option. Unfortunately, Ruf was not suited for the role. Make no mistake, this was an unforced error and a complete gaffe by the Mets. They gave it a little less than two months before admitting defeat and investigating their other options.

Mets teams of old play and lose with Ruf. This Mets team doesn’t care about how their image and competency are adjudged. They know that will solely be defined by winning the World Series. The Mets saw Ruf would’ve hindered those chances. Instead, the Mets needed to pursue other options who would give them a better chance to win.

First, it was Mark Vientos. In Oakland, it did seem like he was figuring things out. We would even see him hit his first Major League homer. He was cutting down on the strikeouts and taking better at-bats. The thing is he had chances in his last game in big spots, and he didn’t deliver.

We have seen enough from Vientos to see he is going to be a power hitter at the Major League level. In his minor league career, he has shown the ability to make adjustments and thrive at the plate. However, with the Mets waiting so long before calling him up to the majors, he might not have that time he needs to get comfortable, adjust, and thrive before playing in the postseason.

With that in mind, the Mets called up Francisco Álvarez, the player Keith Law dropped a Mike Piazza comp on before the season. Certainly, with the 27 homers, Álvarez has backed that up. Mets fans have been waiting for this since Álvarez said in Spring Training his goal was to make it to the majors this season. He probably would’ve made it sooner if not for that ankle injury.

Right now, it seems Álvarez is here to DH in one game and be available as a pinch hitting option. While Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer were complimentary of his work behind the plate, a team that is going to win and lose the World Series based on their pitching cannot sit James McCann and Tomas Nido, who are exceptional framers.

No, for now, this is a one shot deal. Álvarez is here to DH. He is here because Ruf couldn’t do the job. He is here because the Mets are still unsure if Vientos can do the job. Mostly, he is here because this Mets team will not be defined by their mistakes. Instead, they will be defined by winning.

 

Mets-Braves NL East Clinching Scenarios

Thanks to the heroics of Eduardo Escobar and CJ Abrams, the New York Mets will head to Atlanta with a one game lead in the division. Over the course of the weekend series, we may see the NL East race resolved before final series of the season.

Heading into the series, the Mets have a 9-7 record against the Atlanta Braves. Should the Mets win at least one game, they will take the season series. This is of vital importance because Major League Baseball has completely done away with tie-breaker games. Instead, because Rob Manfred wants baseball to not be baseball, it will go to tiebreakers.

If the Mets lost two of three to the Braves, they still control their own destiny. At that point, if they sweep the Washington Nationals at home to close the season, they win the division. Obviously, if the Mets lose a game to the Nationals, they would need the Miami Marlins to defeat the Braves at least once. You can extrapolate that as needed for the three game series.

Now, if the Mets were to sweep the Braves, they clinch the NL East. At that point, the Mets could get swept by the Nationals in the final series of the season, and it will not matter one iota. With the tiebreaker, the Mets win the division.

In the event the Braves sweep the Mets, things get very dicey for the Mets. At that point, the Braves would not only have a two game lead, but they would also have the tiebreaker as they will have won the season series. Effectively speaking, a Braves sweep would mean the Braves clinch the division because they would only have to register one win against the Marlins.

As it stands, if the Mets take two out of three, they also effectively win the division. The Mets would have the tiebreaker and a two game division lead. The Mets magic number would be one. That would mean they would need to win at least one game against the Nationals. For all the Mets struggles against bad teams at home over the final month of the season, it is hard to imagine they would get swept.

Overall, all the Mets need to do in Atlanta to control their own destiny is to win one game. You have to love the Mets chances of doing that with them sending Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassitt to the mound. If the Mets win the series, they effectively take the division. If they sweep, they definitively win it.

Right now, the name of the game is to win at least one. After that, the Mets control their own destiny. In the end, that’s all they can ask for at this point in the season.

Obvious Mets/Braves Solution To Hurricane Ian

With a natural disaster the scale of Hurricane Ian, baseball seems all the more trivial. Obviously, human lives take precedence.

However, there are Major League Baseball games, and those games need to be played. That is especially true for the pivotal Mets/Braves series in Atlanta.

Unfortunately, the weather is potentially going to wreck havoc with the series leaving both teams and MLB left trying to figure out how to get the games played. The first suggested option was less than inspired.

It’s painful that MLB can’t figure out the obvious solution to get all three games played. To do that, we need to acknowledge the following:

  1. Mets and Braves do not play Thursday
  2. There is no possibility for games to be played on Saturday.
  3. The postseason has to start on October 7.

Logistically speaking, you really need to know who wins the NL East and who is the Wild Card as soon as possible. The division winner receives a bye, and the other team has home field advantage in the Wild Card round.

Under no circumstances can you put the Mets and Braves in a spot where they’re killing their bullpen to win the division only to start a postseason series the following day. Moreover, you can’t have a team sitting and awaiting the results of a doubleheader to determine where they’re playing the following day (or later that evening).

Your absolute worst case scenario is playing one game on Thursday. Playing a Thursday doubleheader is completely out of the question. As a result, you need to figure out a way to play the games.

First and foremost, the Mets and Braves need to play on Thursday. Both teams will complain about losing the off day, but they’ll get that back on Saturday.

Yes, the teams have aligned their rotations just for this series. The Mets have Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassitt ready. The Braves put Spencer Strider on extended rest just to pitch in this series.

Playing Thursday will force a pitcher on short rest or pitch a starter they don’t want to pitch. Believe it or not, this is preferable to the alternative.

Neither team wants to use an ace right before a postseason series, and they don’t want to push their top bullpen guys. That goes double if there’s a doubleheader.

If they schedule a game on Thursday, they get at least one game in. If the Friday game from an evening game to a day game, they likely get both games in. This would completely take the doubleheader out of the equation.

After that, you know you’re not playing Saturday. Chances are, you’re not playing Sunday afternoon. Fortunately, this is the ESPN Sunday Night game. As a result, we should see this game played.

This is how you get all the games played and avoid playing October 6. Really, this is MLB’s best option. Arguably, it’s their only option.

Hopefully, this is how MLB will proceed. Mostly, we all hope and pray for those people who will be directly impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Mets Are Collapsing

Do you recall why the New York Mets collapsed in 2007? Injuries for sure played a part. Yes, the Philadelphia Phillies going on a tear played a part too.

However, ultimately, it was on the Mets. They didn’t beat the teams they should’ve beaten easily. That put seven in 17 completely on them.

Now, the Mets were swept by the Phillies, but they were still up 3.5 games with 14 left to play. The Mets would finish the season going a combined 5-8 against the Washington Nationals and the then Florida Marlins (with a make-up game loss to the St. Louis Cardinals).

If that Mets team took care of business against those dreadful teams, they win the division with ease. Instead, it was a historic collapse.

The very same thing could happen to this Mets team who once had a 10.5 game lead in the division. Not winning the NL East would be a collapse.

The Mets had the weakest September schedule in baseball. They’ve squandered it and the three game lead they had entering the month.

Against the Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Marlins, and Oakland Athletics, the Mets are a combined 10-9. That includes them being 1-6 at home against the Nationals, Cubs, and Marlins.

There’s just no defending that. Yes, saying it isn’t a collapse and pointing to the Braves record from June 1 on is defending it. The Mets not winning this division is solely on them.

Case-in-point, let’s say instead of 1-6, the Mets were 6-1 at home against those teams. In all honesty, in a tight division race, there’s no reason why they weren’t.

This would mean instead of being tied atop the division with a 97-58 record, they would be five games up with a 102-53 record.

As a result, the Mets magic number right now would be two. TWO!

We could and should be talking about the Mets potentially clinching if they beat the Marlins. Instead, we’re talking about the Mets needing to win to stay tied before heading to Atlanta.

When you can’t beat up on the Nationals and Marlins, you’re collapsing. That was true for the 2007 Mets, and it holds true today.

Obviously, these Mets making the postseason makes this feel different. That will allow the Mets to write their own story as to how this season will be remembered.

If the Mets don’t win the division, they risk a first round exit. Certainly, that would be another factor in correctly terming what’s happening a collapse.

That said, it’s hard to image that happening with a top three of Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassitt. In fact, with that three, with Edwin Diaz at the back-end,

Then again, with those four, it’s difficult to imagine the Mets in this situation. With them pitching in Atlanta, maybe this collapse is over. We shall see.

Mets Projected Postseason Roster

While the division is still up for grabs, the New York Mets are definitively headed to the postseason. While their opponent remains to be seen, we can start looking at who will be on the roster. After all, the Mets have begun doing that themselves by playing Mark Vientos in addition to taking looks at starters Tylor Megill and David Peterson in the bullpen.

While September rosters are at 28, rosters will drop back down to 26 for the postseason. So with that, at least two players currently on the roster will not be on the postseason roster. With that in mind, here’s a look at who is currently a lock to make the postseason roster.

CATCHERS (2)

Believe it or not, Francisco Alvarez could potentially be added to the postseason roster. However, that’s only in the event of an injury to McCann or Nido and another to Michael Perez. Put another way, we’re going to see McCann and Nido all postseason.

INFIELDERS (5)

There are no surprises here. This is obviously the starting infield with the Escobar/Guillorme platoon. Of course, Marte’s health will impact if Guillorme and Escobar play everyday with McNeil in right field against right-handed pitching.

OUTFIELDERS (3)

The obvious caveat here is Marte. If he is good to go, there are four outfielders who will be good to go. However, at the moment, we do not know how or if Marte can play through the pain. Keep in mind, that broken middle finger is inhibiting his ability to throw.

DH (1)

Simply put, Darin Ruf is not doing enough to secure a spot on the postseason roster, and the same goes for Vientos at the moment. The Mets obviously brought Gore in for the sole purpose of being a pinch runner, but his spot may be in some doubt with the Mets platoon strategy. Marte’s health may very well impact who is carried to be the right-handed DH with Marte himself being a possibility.

STARTERS (5)

We now the top three will be deGrom, Scherzer, and Bassitt. At the moment, it looks like the Mets will have to decide between Carrasco. Whichever they pick, it would be an absolute shock if the Mets do not put the other starter in the bullpen for the postseason.

BULLPEN (4)

There are a name or two here that may very well be here, but at the moment, this is the only group that can be considered a lock. Yes, it is a surprise that’s it after a long season and multiple opportunities for upgrades.

With all the aforementioned players, the Mets have 20 players who are locks for the postseason roster. Per MLB roster rules, the Mets (or any team) can only carry up to 13 pitchers. At the moment, the Mets have nine pitchers considered as locks. As a result, the Mets can add up to four more pitchers leaving them to add two position players.

POSITION PLAYER BUBBLE

If Marte is healthy and ready to go, he will be on the postseason roster. However, the Mets have to be very careful here. If they carry Marte in the first round series, and he can’t go that puts them in a very precarious spot. That means they’re going to be down a player for the round, lose Marte for the ensuing series if he needs to be replaced on the roster, or both.

Marte’s availability is the biggest question mark, and it may be the biggest issue with how the roster is comprised.

For example, Gore was brought here solely to pinch run in the postseason. However, if Marte is still working his way back, the Mets just may roll the dice and use Marte for the role and revisit it again for the next series. If Marte can’t play the field but can DH, that takes Ruf and Vientos completely out of the picture.

Essentially, what Marte can and can’t do will dictate which two players will make the roster. Ideally, the Mets probably want to carry Marte and Gore, but we will see if that is a possibility. Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility, the Mets carry just 12 pitchers with a reliever going to the bullpen to allow the Mets to carry Marte, Gore, and one of Ruf/Vientos.

RELIEF PITCHER BUBBLE

As noted above, we can see the Mets carry 3-4 pitchers from this group. Keep in mind, who the Mets carry from this group may be somewhat opponent dependent.

Right off the bat, the Mets would carry Givens, but he is on the COVID IL. Until he is activated, we are not quite sure if he can be carried on the postseason roster, at least not in the first round. Assuming for a second Givens is available, things get interesting.

Realistically speaking, the Mets will carry Rodriguez even though he has been bad all year. Of course, Lucchesi is a wild card here. However, if we don’t see him pitch in the Majors soon, there is just no way the Mets can carry him on the postseason roster.

If the Mets want two left-handed relievers, they are definitively going to carry Rodriguez and Peterson (short of Lucceshi being good to go). If they carry both, and Givens is healthy, that may just be a full bullpen depending on what the Mets want to do from a position player perspective.

To a certain degree, that squeezes Williams off the postseason roster. That is unfair and dubious considering he has been one of the Mets best pitchers all season. That said, if you’re carrying your best pitchers, Williams has been that all season.

Theoretically, Megill of Co-No fame would be left off the roster. At the moment, Megill is trying to prove he can be utilized in the bullpen.

Overall, this all hinges on Marte’s health. The role if he can play, if he can play role at all, can dictate just how the Mets are able to comprise their postseason roster. Right now, there are eight games for players to secure their place on the roster leaving a number of moving pieces and decisions yet to be made.

 

 

Mets Imploding

Down by two to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bottom of the eighth. Buck Showalter sends Bryce Montes de Oca to the mound.

If you want to crystallize everything going wrong with the New York Mets right now, that paragraph does it. The Mets can’t outscore the Pirates, and in a crucial spot, they have a rookie who had all of 0.2 innings to his career to the mound.

The Mets biggest need at the trade deadline was the bullpen. Billy Eppler walked away with only Mychal Givens. It was inexcusable then, and it’s all the more now.

Eppler was betting on injured players, and he wanted to move players from starting to the bullpen. With players like Tylor Megill and Joey Lucchesi, both situations applied.

When you look at this Mets team, they’re just imploding, and nothing is working. In many ways, this is why Showalter was hired. The Mets wanted a season leader to ensure things like this would never be an issue.

This is the same Showalter who used Tommy Hunter for the third time in four days. Much like how he did that very recently with Adam Ottavino, the ensuing homer wasn’t a shock.

For whatever reason, Showalter hasn’t been that calming presence. We see a lot of that with Pete Alonso’s struggles and noticeable frustration on the field.

There’s a lot of panic everywhere. We saw that with Carlos Carrasco getting a start without so much as throwing one rehab inning in the minors.

A lot of this is outside Showalter’s control much like with Willie Randolph in 2007. In 2007, Randolph got a huge chunk of the blame. So far, Showalter is dodging that criticism even with his recent very questionable bullpen management.

Showalter isn’t the reason Max Scherzer left his last start early with a re-aggravated left side. He’s not the reason Luis Guillorme and Brett Baty went down. He’s not the reason Starling Marte got hit in the hand and had to leave the game.

The trade deadline acquisitions stopped hitting. Really, everyone not named Eduardo Escobar, Brandon Nimmo, and Marte stopped hitting. Oh, and Marte is hurt.

Whatever the case, the Mets lost three in a row against teams on pace to lose over 100 games. Worse yet, each of those losses were by six runs. More than anything, that’s completely unacceptable.

It’s one thing to slump. It happens to everyone. Everyone loses to bad teams. However, there is no excuse to being non-competitive against flat out horrid teams.

Right now, the Mets are imploding. The good news is there’s still plenty of time to right the ship, and they’re still in first place (for now). All it takes, is a big start or hit to turn things around and get the Mets back on track.

Fortunately, Jacob deGrom takes the mound in the doubleheader. After that, we shall see.

Willie Mays 24 Should Not Be Retired By Mets

Yes, this is raining on the parade. It’s a contrarian opinion on a celebrated moment. All that said, when you actually look at it, Willie Mays number 24 should not be retired by the New York Mets.

If this was 1973, you could understand it. The Mets were around for all of a decade, and they had little history. The franchise had already retired Casey Stengel’s 37, which had much more to do with his New Yankees tenure than anything.

However, Joan Payson, as much as she loved Mays (justifiably so), did not retire his number. Yes, she took it out of circulation, but she opted not to retire it.

Keep in mind, she ran the Mets until her death, which was two years after Mays retired. As much as people want to reframe history now, this wasn’t she never got around to doing it.

It’s now 2022, and the Mets have a 60 year history. One way to look at it is the Mets have existed for about as long as the Yankees had when the Mets were founded.

This is now a franchise with a real history. There are two World Series titles and five pennants. There are two Hall of Famers with Carlos Beltran joining this group maybe later this year, and Jacob deGrom going there one day.

It’s a team with their own Hall of Fame. While oft overlooked, it has 30 members. Of note, Mays was never inducted as a member. Now, he has his number retired.

The former was the more correct position when viewed through the lense of the New York Mets franchise.

Mays was a Met for two seasons playing 135 games total amassing a 1.6 WAR. He hit .238/.352/.394 with 19 doubles, one triple, 14 homers, and 44 RBI.

In the postseason, he was 3-for-10 with two RBI. It was his last postseason game winning RBI. That postseason would also mark the lowest point of his career serving as a juxtaposition to his catch robbing Vic Wertz.

All told, Mays is arguably the best player who ever lived. He’s New York baseball royalty lyrically memorialized by Terry Cashman as THE part of “Willie, Mickey, and the Duke.” (Say Hey! Say Hey!”). He’s just not Mets royalty.

As an aside, Duke Snider was a Hall of Fame center fielder in the above referenced song. He was a beloved Brooklyn Dodger, who was part of the 1955 Dodgers. He returned to play with the Mets in 1963, and no one even mentions retiring his 4.

The reason they don’t say that about Snider is because he wasn’t a great Met. Snider, as a Met, didn’t deserve the honor. It’s the same for Mays.

Despite that, the Mets opted to gild the lily. Yes, it was popular, but it was unnecessary. Mays was not a Mets great. Meanwhile, true Mets greats who will never get their number retired watched on.

There are many injustices Steve Cohen corrected since taking over from the Wilpons. This wasn’t one of them. It was unnecessary, and in some ways, actually overlooked Mets history on a day it was being celebrated.

deGrom Still Working Into Game Shape

After the New York Mets pushed him back a game (two days), Jacob deGrom pitched for the first time in a week. We saw deGrom throw 87 pitches over six innings.

That was a bit of a surprise. After all, deGrom had thrown 95 pitches in 6.2 innings in his last start against the Atlanta Braves.

Remember, deGrom was given an extra couple of days. Part of that was getting Taijuan Walker back into the rotation. Still, there is cause to ask why deGrom didn’t go as long in this game.

As a point of reference, in deGrom’s fifth start last season, he threw 93 pitches over 6.0 innings. What does that mean now? Well, not that much.

In 2021, deGrom was in a much different place. He had a full Spring Training behind him. That’s not the case now.

Yes, deGrom pitched in Spring Training. However, he had to shut it down due to the shoulder injury. He could not throw until May.

During the rehab, deGrom did have a setback. It was not significant, but it did lead to his rehab schedule being delayed.

That’s just it. We see deGrom is still trying to get back up to speed. He has shown that in spurts, especially the earlier innings. After that, there are some signs of fatigue.

As a practical matter, deGrom dominated over six innings. That’s just part of the story.

We saw a pitcher uncomfortable with his fastball. He did throw it, but he was going to the slider note frequently. The end result was typical deGrom dominance.

However, he was tiring Part of the reason was the hot and humid August weather. Mostly, it was deGrom returning from an injury and not having pitched in a full season since 2019.

In the end, it’s just one start. You might’ve expected more and for deGrom to go deeper. The thing is he’s not ready, and mostly, it’s about October. Give it a month, and then let’s talk about how deep deGrom can go into games.