The struggling Mets received another dose of optimism Sunday when Jacob de Grom, a team mate who has been on the sidelines all season, struck out five of the six batters he faced early in rehab in St. Louis’ Grade A. Lucy.
Eighteen of deGrom’s 24 fields were potted, and his fastball broke the 100 mph mark. He hit the only batter he didn’t hit.
Combine that progression with the expected return of Max Scherzer from the injured list this week, and the Mets’ team might finally be what GM Billy Eppler envisioned this offseason. The team will need all the help it can get given how poorly its offense has been performing in recent weeks.
“I felt like I was in control,” deGrom told reporters after Sunday’s start. “The main thing was to try to find a fastball and serve it. All was good”.
Far more important than deGrom’s performance in his six-slugger performance, he said, was that his shoulder, which took him away from spring training due to a stress reaction in his shoulder blade, didn’t limit him.
“It feels 100 percent,” he said. “Because it was a bone – you can’t really move it apart. I had to wait for the bone to heal and move on.”
Despite a strong performance and lack of pain, deGrom is expected to need several minor league starts before he returns to the big leagues.
The Mets have had a great start to the season, and even with a serious slump in offense, they have maintained their lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East. This is despite the fact that Scherzer has only started eight games and deGrom hasn’t started a major league game since July 7 last season.
Crucial to this first half were strong seasons from Taijiuang Walker (6-2, 2.72 ERA) and David Peterson (5-1, 3.24), which helped offset not only de Grom and Scherzer’s injuries, but Tylor’s as well. Megilla. right handed who had some promising results earlier this season before going on the injured list with a strained shoulder. Chris Bassitt, a 2021 All-Star with Oakland who was acquired through spring training, was listed as injured on July 1, but the lack of an injury designation suggests his absence may be related to the coronavirus rather than what -that’s not right. his swinging hand.
Even Scherzer and deGrom may need more help than the Mets hitters have provided in the past few weeks. Having won two of three home games in the weekend series against the Texas Rangers, the Mets are still ranked 29th in the Majors in slugging-on-base plus slugging percentage (.639) over the last 15 days, second only to the Oakland Athletics. . Pete Alonso has continued to play, but almost every other Mets forward has suffered a major slump, especially Mark Caña, an experienced outfielder who acquired this offseason and is 3rd in his last 34 games.
If the Mets hope to hold Atlanta, which, like last season, is gaining momentum after a tough startserve health and return to form for the team’s hitters will be critical.