Dynamic Duo takes down the birds, Marte’s successful debut, and a reminder of the beauty of baseball…
Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lived up to expectations as they pitch back-to-back against the Cardinals
What’s Up with the Mets? 🌴
Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer teamed up to take down the Cardinals on Sunday - deGrom allowed a run in three innings, and Scherzer allowed two runs in six innings. Both gave a spring preview of what fans can hope for the rest of the season (The Athletic)
Tomas Nido hit an opposite-field two-run home run, and Francisco Lindor blasted two home runs himself on Sunday (NY Post)
Starling Marte (oblique) finally appeared in a game after dealing with a sore oblique, played right field, and reported no ill-effects after the game (NY Post)
Mets manager Buck Showalter said James McCann (back stiffness) should be ready to play by Tuesday.
With no lefty currently in the bullpen, Chasen Shreve hopes to win the job at the end of spring training (NY Post)
Today’s Game 🗓
The Mets are off today. They resume Grapefruit League play tomorrow night at 6:10 PM ET against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL.
The Scherzer/deGrom show served as reminder of the beauty of baseball… 📝
It was not a great offseason for baseball as a collective whole. The ugliness of the collective bargaining negotiations leaked out to the media which led to disappointment, frustration, and anger on the part of fans. It was not a great look by Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball just two years after a pandemic-shortened season without fans, and a year after limited fan attendance when vaccine and testing mandates were required at the beginning of the 2021 season, and now there was the commissioner actually smiling as he was announcing more games were going to be cancelled.
Thankfully, the a new CBA was agreed to, and even though the season won’t start on time, all the games will be played as part of doubleheaders throughout the season.
Despite coming to an agreement the negotiations were a black eye for the sport where fans’ attentions can easily wander elsewhere. Especially after 2020 where they were forced to find other forms of entertainment when there was no baseball. MLB is continuously playing with fire in hoping they don’t lose fans for good when they keep signaling to fans they are low on the priority list.
So even with a bitter taste, days where dueling aces put on a show are quite valuable. Unlike the rest of Major League Baseball, the Mets had a fantastic offseason. Max Scherzer deservedly got all the buzz and it was a shame the first time he met Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor as actual teammates was at a negotiating table in Jupiter, Florida and not in the clubhouse at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie.
But now they are away from the table and back on the field, and Met fans finally got to recapture the excitement of the offseason when Scherzer officially became a Met.
Both Scherzer and deGrom looked to be in midseason form when they made their respective spring debuts last week, but Mets manager Buck Showalter decided to give fans a treat and had them both pitch against the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.
The results were extraordinary.
Combined they pitched the entire game and struck out twelve St. Louis batters. Even while focusing heavily on his change-up and breaking pitches, deGrom struck out five Cardinal hitters in three innings of work and Scherzer came in and took care of the rest. He struck out seven in six innings and seemed generally displeased at giving up runs, even in an exhibition game.
That’s just so Max Scherzer, isn’t it?
At the end of the day Jake was Jake, dominant despite working on a pitch, and Max was Max, dominant and displeased.
On the other side of the ball, Francisco Lindor blasted two home runs to help lead the offense to a 7-3 win. Sure the stats don’t count but that doesn’t mean the game was without meaning, especially the performances of arguably three of most important players on the roster.
At least for one day the excitement and beauty of baseball was played out on a baseball diamond in front of riveted fans. It was a nice reminder of all that is great about baseball.
Hopefully Manfred and company got the same message.
Hot Stove 🔥
Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols agreed to a one-year, $2.5m contract to return to St. Louis (MLB.com)
Ketel Marte has agreed a five-year extension with the Diamondbacks on a deal worth $76 million (MLB.com)
The Yankees signed righty Shelby Miller to a minor league deal (press release)
Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman said the team is preparing a long-term extension for Aaron Judge (ESPN)