The Mets find themselves back in the playoff picture, this time in the hunt for a wild card spot, and they could receive a huge boost toward the end of the campaign.
MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports that Mets ace Jacob deGrom threw off the mound for the first time since he was shut down in July with forearm tightness. A previous setback in deGrom’s rehab from the injury has forced him to miss all of August and all of September thus far.
It was later revealed that his injury was a sprain in his UCL, which Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had said “resolved itself.”
News: Jacob deGrom threw 10 pitches off a mound today, marking his first bullpen work since his shutdown in July. This was a light session. The Mets will continue to be cautious, but deGrom’s comeback remains on track for late this season.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 14, 2021
Before landing on the injured list, deGrom had been enjoying his best season to date, and arguably one of the best campaign’s ever.
He had pitched to a 1.08 ERA across 92 innings of work. He struck out 146 batters and walked only 11 with a .128 opponents’ average.
According to Stathead, his 1.08 ERA over his first 15 starts of the season is the second-best mark of any starter in the modern era, outside of only the Tigers’ Al Benton in 1945 at 0.99, and his 146 strikeouts at 11th-best in that stretch.
The Mets have certainly missed his presence as they have slid down from leading the NL East by 4.5 games when he hit the injured list to now sitting in third behind the Braves and Phillies, trailing the former by 5.5 games.
New York had won 11 of his 15 starts and, according to Fangraphs, his 2.86 win-probability added ranks 10th among pitchers with at least 90 innings.
The Mets find themselves just four games back in the hunt for the second NL Wild Card, and their schedule down the stretch poses plenty of challenges.
They start a three-game series with the Phillies on Friday, have a two-game showdown with the Red Sox next week, followed by a three-game stretch with the Brewers. They end the season with four against the Marlins and three against the Braves.