As of today, June 7, the Mets are in first place in the NL East and nine games ahead of the second place Atlanta Braves. To think the Mets have succeeded without the likes of arguably two of the top five pitchers in MLB in Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer is something I can honestly say I did not see coming.
But here we are, three months into the season, and the Mets sit at 38-19—the best record in the National League.
The season started with a poor taste in my mouth after it was announced deGrom had a stress reaction in his throwing arm that would prevent him from even picking up a baseball for four weeks. That was back in April.
The good news is deGrom made a significant step toward returning, having thrown a 19-pitch bullpen session in New York on Saturday, June 4. He threw all fastballs with moderate intensity, according to Mets general manager Billy Eppler. It was the first time deGrom pitched off a mound since he was shut down during spring training.
Although deGrom was sent to the injured list early, Mets fans had a collective sigh of relief knowing Scherzer is our No. 2 guy. But he was scratched from the Opening Day lineup due to hamstring tightness. Scherzer was able to make his debut the second time around the rotation.
It wasn’t until his start against the St. Louis Cardinals back in mid-May when Mets fans were concerned once more. Scherzer, known for his grit and tenacity, pulled himself out of the game due to tightness in his side. What he called a “zing” in his midsection warranted an MRI the following day which revealed a moderate- to high-grade internal oblique strain. The estimated timeline of recovery was six-to-eight weeks.
Last week, “news” broke that Scherzer was bit by his dog on his throwing hand. The pitcher took to Twitter to quickly dispel any false narratives about the bite being a setback for the ace. In his note, he said the bite caused him to take one day off from throwing and that he was back to long tossing the next day. He is progressing nicely, according to Buck Showalter, and is throwing side sessions.
Pitcher Tylor Megill was the hidden gem for the Mets, who stepped up drastically when it was announced he would be the pitcher on Opening Day. Megill threw five scoreless innings and allowed three hits with six strikeouts.
The second-year pitcher was the starter in the team’s combined no-hitter on April 29 against the Philadelphia Phillies. But after that start, things got shaky for the 26-year-old.
Megill went on to pitch two more starts, his last being on May 11, when he pitched 1.1 innings and allowed eight hits and eight earned runs. A few days later, Megill was placed on the 15-day injured list with biceps tendinitis in his pitching arm.
The righty rehabbed his injury and made a rehab start on Sunday, June 5, for Double-A Binghamton. He reached his goal by throwing 3.2 innings (53 pitches). Megill reached 97-98 mph on his fastball and allowed two runs on three hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
Megill is set to travel to California and join the team for its series against the Los Angeles Angels, and will likely be taken off the injured list and start on Friday, June 10.
With the three star starters set to be back soon, there is no telling where this team will be in the following months.
(Photo: MLB dot com/Mike Lupica)
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