The struggling Mets obtained yet one more dose of optimism on Sunday when Jacob deGrom, the crew’s co-ace who has been sidelined all season, struck out 5 of the six batters he confronted in a rehab begin for Class A St. Lucie.
Eighteen of deGrom’s 24 pitches went for strikes, along with his fastball topping 100 miles an hour. He hit the one batter he did not strike out.
Mix that progress with Max Scherzer’s anticipated return from the injured listing this week and the Mets’ pitching employees might lastly change into what Common Supervisor Billy Eppler envisioned this low season. The crew will want all the assistance it might probably get given how poorly its offense has been performing in current weeks.
“I felt like I had management of all the things,” deGrom informed reporters after Sunday’s begin. “The primary factor was attempting to find the fastball and pitch off that. All the things felt good.”
Of way more significance than deGrom’s leads to his six-batter look, he stated, was that his shoulder, which has sidelined him since spring coaching due to a stress response in his scapula, which was not limiting him.
“It feels one hundred pc,” he stated. “As a result of it was bone — you’ll be able to’t actually push it. I needed to wait till the bone was healed and transfer ahead from there.”
Regardless of the sturdy outing, and the shortage of ache, deGrom is anticipated to want a number of minor league begins earlier than he returns to the majors.
The Mets obtained off to a terrific begin this season, and even with a extreme downturn on offense they’ve held on to their lead over the Atlanta Braves within the Nationwide League East. That’s regardless of Scherzer’s having solely began eight video games and with deGrom not having began a significant league recreation since July 7 of final season.
Essential to that first half have been sturdy seasons from Taijuan Walker (6-2, 2.72 ERA) and David Peterson (5-1, 3.24), who’ve helped offset the accidents to not solely deGrom and Scherzer but additionally one affecting Tylor Megill, a right-hander who had some promising outcomes earlier this season earlier than touchdown on the injured listing with a strained shoulder. Chris Bassitt, a 2021 All-Star with Oakland who was acquired in a spring coaching commerce, was positioned on the injured listing on July 1, however the lack of damage designation prompt that his could also be a coronavirus-related absence moderately than something fallacious along with his pitching arm.
Even Scherzer and deGrom would possibly want extra assist than the Mets’ hitters have been offering in the previous few weeks. After profitable two of three at dwelling in a weekend collection towards the Texas Rangers, the Mets are nonetheless twenty ninth within the majors in on-base plus slugging proportion (.639) over the past 15 days, with solely the Oakland Athletics under them. Pete Alonso has continued to carry out, however nearly each different Mets hitter has taken a extreme downturn, no yet one more so than Mark Canha, a veteran outfielder acquired this low season, who’s 3 for his final 34.
If the Mets hope to carry off Atlanta, which because it did final season is surging after a tricky begin, pitching well being and a return to kind for the crew’s hitters shall be essential.