Max Scherzer debuts, Ronny Mauricio homers, and how the new rules can play into the Mets strength
The Mets rolled while getting a look at two relievers vying for a spot in the bullpen
What’s Up with the Mets? 🌴
The Mets defeated the Nationals 6-3 at Clover Park on Sunday (box)
Max Scherzer allowed one run and struck out five in two innings of work
Ronny Mauricio hit a towering 450-foot home run in his only at bat of the day
Daniel Vogelbach drove in two while going 1-for-3 at the plate
John Curtiss - who missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery - had a successful outing and struck out two in his one inning of work
Elieser Hernandez - who is vying for a role in the bullpen - struggled while allowing a run and two walks over two innings
Both Scherzer and Justin Verlander are looking to find new advantages this season (The Athletic)
With Manny Machado now signed long-term in San Diego, Brett Baty has a chance to seize the starting third base job for the foreseeable future if he continues to impress (MLB.com)
Former Met minor leaguer Matt Pobereyko passed away from a heart attack this past weekend at age-31 (New York Post)
Today’s Game 🦩
Game 4️⃣ of 3️⃣0️⃣
Match-up: Mets vs. Cardinals
Where: Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, Jupiter, Florida
Starters: LHP David Peterson vs. LHP Connor Thomas
When: 1:05 PM EDT
Where to Watch: ESPN
MLB’s new rules can turn into a secret weapon for the Mets… ✍🏻
The pitch clock has been the talk of spring training so far with it achieving its desired outcome of shortening the length of games. So far, every Mets game played has been under three hours. The first was two hours and thirty-three minutes, followed by games of two hours and thirty-five minutes and two-hours and twenty-eight minutes respectively.
While the reaction has been varied around baseball, especially since a game ended on a pitch clock violation, being the pitcher he is, Max Scherzer plans to use it to his advantage.
Scherzer is the type of intense competitor who is going to exploit every advantage he can get, so it is no surprise he is excited about the pitch clock. Early in camp, we already saw him hold the ball so long as the clock wound down, forcing Francisco Lindor to ask for time, that which a batter only gets one of during a sequence. Now he could finally use what he practiced in a game setting and was pleased with the results.
“I can completely dictate pace,” Scherzer explained after his outing on Sunday. “The hitter having only one timeout changes the complete dynamic of the hitter and the pitcher dynamic. I love it.”
“I can work extremely quickly or I can work extremely slow. There is another layer here to be able to mess with the hitter’s timing.”
The thought of Scherzer having another weapon - which is in the form of a head game - should terrify batters and it will be interesting to see how it plays out over the season.
Of course, other pitchers around the league could use this to their advantage as well, so it will be an interesting to watch this new dynamic between pitchers and hitters as the situation with the rule evolves.
If any team is going to learn how to make the new rules work for them, chances are it will be a Buck Showalter-led team, and with the NL East shaping up to be another dogfight, the Mets could use every advantage they can get.
Nobody knows the rules better than Showalter and as we saw last year he was not afraid to use the old rule book to his advantage. Preparedness is one of Buck’s strengths which then gets passed down to his team, and he’s already spent considerable time quizzing his players on the new rules.
And in that regard, Showalter alone could be the Mets other secret weapon simply from a rules exploitation perspective.
Around the League ⚾️
Manny Machado and the Padres agreed to an 11-year extension worth $350 million (ESPN)
Jacob deGrom returned to the mound after coming into camp with discomfort and revealed afterwards he thought he would still be in Mets camp this year (NY Post)
Major League Baseball is reviewing the exchange between umpire C.B Bucknor and Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol where Bucknor refused to shake the manager’s hand (ESPN)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. started off spring hot with two home runs in two games (MLB.com)