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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Articles tagged: New York Mets

Reporter shares potential return date for Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer ready to pitch

May 13, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets ace Max Scherzer may be back on a major league mound sooner than originally predicted.

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported on Sunday that Scherzer could make his return as early as next Sunday against the Marlins in Miami.

Scherzer, who has been out with an oblique injury since May 18, is scheduled to pitch in a minor league rehab start on Tuesday. According to Heyman, if all goes well, Scherzer will be in “consideration” to start Sunday. Heyman also said that the Mets aren’t providing a public return date for Scherzer due to any potential setbacks he might have.

On Wednesday, FOX’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the best-case scenario for the 37-year-old Scherzer would be a return in late June.

The Mets have played well in Scherzer’s absence and can afford to take their time with him to make sure he’s fully healthy for the second half of the season.

In the 29 game since Scherzer’s injury, the Mets have gone 20-9 and lead the National League East by 5.5 games. Mets pitchers have combined for the 13th-lowest ERA in the majors (3.86), and rank first in strikeouts (638), 10th in WHIP (1.22) and fifth in innings pitched (603.2).

Mets manager pulls starter mid at-bat after 1 pitch to Mookie Betts

Buck Showalter walking to the mound

New York Mets manager Buck Showalter apparently had a very short leash when it came to starting pitcher David Peterson facing Mookie Betts.

During the fourth inning of Saturday’s game between the Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, Betts came to the plate with two outs and one runner on base. Betts, representing the tying run, lined a first pitch curveball from Peterson just foul. Showalter immediately made a beeline to the mound to take out Peterson and bring in Colin Holderman, who struck Betts out to end the inning.

With the way Betts has been swinging the bat recently, it’s hard to blame Showalter for the quick hook on Peterson.

In his last seven games, Betts has 11 hits, including 3 home runs and 5 RBI in 29 at-bats. He did have a slow start to the season, however.

Entering Saturday, Betts was hitting .308 with 36 RBI, and had the second-most home runs in baseball (16). The 29-year-old had a .998 OPS, the fourth-highest in the majors, along with the fifth-highest slugging percentage (.607) and the second-best WAR (3.2).

As for Peterson, he had thrown 90 pitches over 3.2 innings, so he wasn’t exactly sharp.

Mets owner has funny response to question about $300 million payroll

Steve Cohen looks on

Sep 11, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets majority owner Steve Cohen and his wife Alexandra Cohen at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are hot to the touch, getting off to a 35-19 start this season. They have the second-best record in the NL and their +70 point differential is third among MLB teams. But owner Steve Cohen is not satisfied.

“I will never feel satisfied. That’s not who I am,” Cohen said on Friday, via the New York Daily News. “I’m always trying to figure out where else we can go next. I’m always in a state of constant improvement, and that’s the way I want this organization to work.”

The MLB trade deadline is August 2, which gives Cohen roughly two months to wheel and deal. But how much more payroll can he afford to add? After all, the Mets already lead the league with a payroll above $260 million (as things currently sit).

Could we see New York make a move that pushes them over the $300 million mark?

“Either I will or I won’t,” Cohen said. “There’s only two possibilities: 299.9 or 300.1. Maybe I will do the 300.1 just for fun.”

It’s a lot more fun when the team is winning. If the Mets were on the opposite end of the spectrum, the prospect of spending more than $300 million in payroll certainly wouldn’t be nearly as amusing. But Cohen has put in the time and the work, and now the results are beginning to pay off.

Mets have disgusting complaint about Dodger Stadium

Buck Showalter in the dugout

Apr 8, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets manager Buck Showalter (11) walks the dugout during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Dodger Stadium is a real dump, at least if you ask one rival NL team.

The New York Mets had a complaint about the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home ballpark during their series against each other this week. According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets grumbled that the Dodger Stadium video room is “dingy” and “smells like rat urine.” They also believe that the working conditions at the ballpark are below MLB standards, Puma adds.

The “rat urine” description is oddly specific. Perhaps the Mets are well-accustomed to that smell with the large rat population in New York City.

In any case, Dodger Stadium is one of the oldest parks in Major League Baseball, having been around since 1962. Only Wrigley Field (1914) and Fenway Park (1912) are older. While Dodger Stadium has generally been complaint-free over the years, they have had some infrastructure-related issues in the past.

Mets manager provides injury update on Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer ready to pitch

May 13, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer’s rehab is progressing right on schedule.

Prior to Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mets manager Buck Showalter provided an injury update on the ace.

“He’s doing fine,” Showalter said. “Who know’s what he’s doing away from the field. He’s probably had four or five sides [bullpen sessions] by now. His want-to is off the charts. From what we can tell, he’s doing well.”

Scherzer strained his oblique in a May 18 start against the St. Louis Cardinals. The initial timeline for his return was 6-8 weeks. One MLB reporter thinks that Scherzer could be back around the All-Star break.

Despite losing Scherzer, the Mets have continued to win games. Entering Thursday, the Mets had gone 10-3 since the 37-year-old went down. Their 10.5-game division lead entering Thursday was the largest in all of baseball, and is tied for the third-largest division lead entering June since divisions began in 1969.

Even with their success without him, the Mets will surely welcome Scherzer back with open arms. In eight starts, he has a 5-1 record and a 2.54 ERA with 59 strikeouts and 11 walks in 49.2 innings.

Mets take funny scoreboard shot at Tommy Pham and Joc Pederson

Tommy Pham in batting practice

May 12, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Reds left fielder Tommy Pham (28) looks on at the batting cage before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The bizarre fantasy football spat between Joc Pederson and Tommy Pham has been great for jokes since it erupted Friday. Even the New York Mets’ scoreboard operators are getting in on the act.

As part of a betting promotion, the Mets put some odds on the Citi Field scoreboard during a break in play Sunday. Among them were the odds of a “fantasy football dispute,” a clear nod to Pham and Pederson.

In case you missed it, Pham, a Cincinnati Reds outfielder, got himself a three game suspension for slapping Giants outfielder Pederson over a fantasy football beef. Pederson even brought the receipts to add context to the situation.

There is at least a chance that two MLB players have had a disagreement over fantasy football. They probably just handled it behind closed doors, unlike Pham.

Jacob deGrom’s possible timetable for return revealed

Jacob deGrom ready to throw

Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have faced a slew of injuries to their pitching staff recently. The team placed ace Max Scherzer on the injured list with an oblique strain on May 19, and placed Tylor Megill on the 15-day injured list with biceps tendinitis before then.

But arguably their most important starter could make his return as early as next month.

On Tuesday’s edition of “The Show” podcast, hosted by the New York Post’s Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman, Heyman reported that he’s heard Jacob deGrom could return as soon as late June.

“deGrom, I finally heard a timetable,” Heyman said (as transcribed by Audacy.com). “Somebody with the Mets told me late June. To me, that seems optimistic. I’m looking at July, I think him and [Max] Scherzer coming back around the All-Star break makes sense.”

The Mets recently released an update stating that deGrom, who suffered a stress reaction in his right shoulder during spring training, was improving. They did not provide a public timetable for his return, however.

On Tuesday, deGrom was captured on video throwing on flat ground at Citi Field:

Getting deGrom back would undoubtedly provide a big boost for the Mets. In 15 starts last season, the 34-year-old had a 1.08 ERA with 146 strikeouts and 11 walks.

But the team might be able to wait until after the All-Star break based off of how well they’re playing in his absence.

Entering Tuesday, the Mets were 29-15 and had an eight-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies. Their pitching staff was one of the best in baseball, boasting the seventh-lowest ERA (3.40) and sixth-lowest WHIP (1.13) in MLB.

Mets provide injury update on Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom ready to throw

Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob deGrom has not pitched in the regular season for the New York Mets since last year, but all signs point to a return in the not-too-distant future.

On Tuesday, the Mets released an update on deGrom’s health. In spring training, deGrom suffered a stress reaction in his right shoulder. According to the latest MRI, the two-time Cy Young Award-winner’s injury is improving.

“[deGrom] underwent follow-up imaging yesterday that revealed continued healing in the scapula,” the team wrote. “He will continue to build distance and velocity in his throwing program, and we will provide an update on his progress when appropriate.”

The Mets did not give a specific timetable for his return, but given the fact that he isn’t throwing from a mound just yet, it may be a while before we see him in a game.

The right-hander started throwing off of flat ground last week.

When healthy, deGrom is arguably the best pitcher in the sport. In 15 starts last season, the 34-year-old had a 1.08 ERA with 146 strikeouts and just 11 walks.

The Mets haven’t skipped a beat in deGrom’s absence, however.

The team entered Tuesday 23-13 and at the top of their division.

Met pitchers have the eighth-lowest team ERA (3.40) and third-lowest WHIP (1.10) in MLB as well.

Adding a healthy deGrom back into a rotation that already features Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt and Carlos Corrasco will further bolster what has already been a strength for the team this season.

Video: Max Scherzer prevented ceremonial first pitch

Max Scherzer ready to pitch

May 13, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets hosted the Seattle Mariners at Citi Field on Friday night, and there was a special first pitch ceremony scheduled for Japanese Heritage Night. But Max Scherzer wasn’t interested in any of that.

As Mikio Mori, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, attempted to the take the mound, he found himself blocked by Scherzer. The Mets ace was warming up and proceeded as if Mori didn’t exist.

Eventually, a Mets employee came onto the field and call Mori off.

There’s a level of intensity to Scherzer that every team would love, but it’s unfortunate Mori paid the price for that. He likely had his entire family in the stands for what was supposed to be a magical moment. Instead, he jogged off with baseball in hand and a mild level of embarrassment.

Scherzer, meanwhile, gave up just one run and struck out six over seven innings. But in the end, the Mets blew it late and fell to the Mariners, 2-1.

Mets get lift from ‘Rally Rat’ against Nationals

A rat running around in the outfield

While we have heard of “Rally Cat” and “Rally Squirrel” before, these good luck charms are starting to get a little bit ridiculous.

The New York Mets and the Washington Nationals got an unexpected visitor during their game on Tuesday — a rat that ran across the outfield grass in the sixth inning.

No, this was not a promo for the new “Stuart Little” movie. But it did end up sparking the Mets, who ended up breaking the 2-2 tie with a sac fly from James McCann on the very next pitch after the rat appeared. They also tacked on another run in the ninth inning and won the game 4-2.

That led to Mets fans embracing the power and prestige of “Rally Rat.”

The Mets are a division-leading 21-10 this season, so they have been doing pretty well for themselves, rodents notwithstanding. But “Rally Rat” has to be the wildest creature on a baseball field since this one at a college game.