A long awaited homecoming, and the Mets needing to tread these choppy waters
The Mets starting rotation is in shambles, but help is on the horizon. First, they have to navigate their toughest opponent with what they have
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets open a three-game series with the Nationals tonight as part of a seven-game homestand which ends with four against the Braves
The Mets still have not named a starting pitcher for tonight - it was originally Max Scherzer’s turn in the rotation, who is currently serving a ten-game suspension
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Nationals vs. Mets
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Josiah Gray (0-4, 3.74 ERA) vs. TBA
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
We’re home! And treading water when the seas are choppy… ✍🏻
We are nearly a month into the season, and the Mets have played a mere six games at Citi Field during that span.
The good news is, the Mets have played well with their hotel-based schedule so far this season. Despite the sweep in Milwaukee and the last two games of their series against the Giants, the Mets are 10-7 on the road so far this season, which is pretty good when one takes a look at their starting rotation (or general lack thereof).
What’s more, it’s always both rare and good when a team wins a series at Dodger Stadium, that which the Mets have now done in two straight years after not doing that at all seemingly since I was in the fourth grade.
All told, the Mets are 14-9, a game behind Atlanta for first place in the National League East. They have a chance this week to soak up some wins before the Braves come into town this weekend. Without a solid group of starting pitchers, that series against the Braves will most certainly be a little lopsided on the pitching front. Still, the Mets have proven in this small sample of a season they’ve been able to withstand their (hopefully) temporary deficiencies in the starting rotation, so if the Mets can come out of that series against the Braves with a split and do what they’re supposed to do against the Nationals, they have a reasonably good chance at a winning road trip.
And when teams are short on resources like the Mets are (and badly at that), treading water needs to be the short-term goal.
It’s hard when the waters are choppy like this, but so far, so good. For now, anyway.
Like I said the other day, this isn’t sustainable. No matter what the Mets might tell you in front of the mic, they seriously need Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer back pitching to 100 percent of their salary. The Mets are into starters 6-10 with David Peterson walking a path of thin ice as it is. And as Linda wrote yesterday, an inability to get quality starts now prematurely wears on the bullpen now, which could impact what they’re able to do later.
And that’s not going to happen overnight, either. Even when both return, they’ll have limited pitch counts at the jump and will need to be ramped up to a point where they can be 6-7 inning starters again. Especially Verlander who has yet to throw a meaningful pitch for the Mets.
Remember too - Scherzer himself has only made four starts and pitched the sum total of 19.1 innings for the Mets over the first month.
Still, their presence alone will be breath of fresh air for this club, and a confidence booster for the seven players behind them. That alone makes them better. What they do on the field builds on top of that presence.
But before that happens, taking care of business is the first step this weekend, and getting to Scherzer on May 1 will be the next hurdle. That’s in the hands of Peterson, Tylor Megill, Joey Lucchesi, Kodai Senga and whoever is going to pitch today and on Sunday.
Just get that life preserver on and tread water.
Around the League 🚩
RHP Spencer Strider lost his no-hit bid with one out in the eighth inning, but helped the Braves shutout the Marlins 11-0 in Atlanta
The Rays improved to 20-3 and 14-0 at home with an 8-3 drubbing of the Astros
The Orioles kept their good times rolling, edging the Red Sox 5-4 in Baltimore to improve to 15-7 on the year
The Yankees scattered five singles around an Aaron Judge double in a quiet 6-1 loss to the Twins
The Rangers released former Yankee Clint Frazer (Dallas Morning News)