It's go time for both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander in the Mets' doubleheader on Sunday
The Mets and Guardians will play a split-admission doubleheader with game 1 starting at 1:40 PM, and game 2 starting at 7:10 PM
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets and Guardians were rained out on Saturday - they will play a split-admission doubleheader today (details)
Today’s Games 🗓
Match-up: Guardians (20-24) vs. Mets (23-23)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Max Scherzer (3-2, 4.88 ERA) vs RHP Tanner Bibee (1-1, 3.22 ERA)
When: 4:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: WPIX
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Justin Verlander (1-2, 4.76 ERA) vs RHP Shane Bieber (3-2, 3.20 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: ESPN
Ok, it’s go time for Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander… ✍🏼
For a few days anyway, things around the Mets have begun to click. To a certain extent, anyway.
I suppose by that I mean their offense which has been generally absent until now in 2023. But that offense has produced 10 home runs and eight doubles over their last six games. Yes, four of those homers have come from Pete Alonso, but that matters too since he is the game’s foremost power threat along with Aaron Judge, and this offense generally goes where Alonso takes it anyway.
But that offense has unquestionably led to the Mets winning four of their last six games and has gotten the Mets back to the .500 mark for the season. That offense also paved the way for a series win against the game’s most elite in the Rays.
So, like I said earlier this week, there’s something to hitting more than just singles. If they can score multiple runs with one swing of the bat and do that with timeliness and general regularity - like most other clubs do - then good things can happen, like scoring runs.
But then there’s the Mets pitching staff which remains a loud concern for this club.
The staff has produced a 5.89 ERA in their last six games, and that’s with a good performance from Max Scherzer last Sunday and a bad one from Justin Verlander in just his third start of the season.
But today, both of the Mets prized pitching possessions - worth in excess of $86 million in 2023 - will pitch on the same day and a chance to offer stability to a rotation that has been nothing short of a dumpster fire in so far in 2023.
Too often - and this includes both Scherzer and Verlander - the Mets starting rotation has put the club down by multiple runs and early. Too often - and this includes Scherzer and Verlander - the rotation has failed to provide enough innings and enough quality innings in game. Too often - and this also includes Scherzer and Verlander - the rotation has had to lean on what is now an overtaxed and uncertain bullpen to get more than 12-15 outs in a game.
They are past the point of the that result not being sustainable. It wasn’t sustainable in April. It is untenable now.
But, as a former owner of the Mets once suggested, the sun has risen today and it therefore provides an opportunity for baseball’s most expensive starting pitchers to give the Mets some normalcy in a time when a starting pitcher giving the Mets even six innings regardless of quality seems so refreshing.
But the Mets more or less need both Scherzer and Verlander to earn their paychecks today.
The offense can do whatever it wants in the end. If the starting pitching isn’t there, and specifically Verlander and/or Scherzer, it’s not going to matter how good or bad the offense is. The hopes and dreams of this club in 2023 rest on the shoulders of these two future hall of fame arms. That’s the beginning and the end of the story for them.
So, perhaps today is the day that story begins. Perhaps today is the day order is brought to the chaos that has been the Mets pitching staff, and a new tone and standard is set on the mound.
After all, it maybe now or never.
Around the League 🚩
Nolan Gorman hit a late, three-run home run to help the Cardinals hold off the Dodgers 6-5 in St. Louis
The Orioles rallied for three runs in the eighth to tie the Blue Jays, and came away with a 6-5 win in extra innings in Toronto
Braxton Garrett gave the Marlins 6.1 shutout innings and their bullpen did the rest as Miami held off the Giants 1-0 in San Francisco
The Red Sox got a strong start from Chris Sale as Boston beat San Diego 4-2 at PetCo Park
Kyle Schwarber’s first inning grand slam led the way for the Phillies in an 12-3 rout of the Cubs