The Mets find themselves in the playoff picture, this time looking for a wild card spot, and they could receive a huge boost towards the end of the campaign.
MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports that Mets ace Jacob deGrom threw the mound for the first time since it was shut down in July with tightness in his forearm. A previous setback in deGrom’s rehab following 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 to his UCL, which Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had said “resolved”.
News: Jacob deGrom threw 10 pitches from a mound today, marking his first work in a paddock since it closed in July. It was a light session. The Mets will continue to be cautious, but deGrom’s return remains on track for the end of the season.
– Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 14, 2021
MORE: Six wild card hopefuls who could win the World Series, and five who sure won’t
Before landing on the injured list, deGrom had had his best season yet, and arguably one of the best of all time.
He had pitched at a 1.08 ERA in 92 innings of work. He struck out 146 batters and walked just 11 with an average of .128 for his opponents.
According to Stathead, his 1.08 ERA in his first 15 starts of the season is the second-best score of any modern-day start, outside of the Tigers’ sole Al Benton in 1945 at 0.99, and of his 146 strikeouts to the 11th best in that stretch.
MORE: Subway Series Ends With Mets, Yankees Clean Benches, Lindor Makes Mets History
The Mets certainly missed his presence as they lost the lead in the National League East by 4.5 games when he reached the injured list to now place third behind the Braves and Phillies, behind first. by 5.5 games.
New York had won 11 of its 15 starts and, according to Fangraphs, its 2.86 winning probability put it in 10th place among pitchers with at least 90 innings.
MORE: MLB umpire in Mets-Cardinals game hit in the face with a stray pitch
The Mets find themselves just four games in the hunt for the NL’s second Wild Card, and their long-term schedule poses many challenges.
They start a three-game streak with the Phillies on Friday, have a two-game showdown with the Red Sox next week, followed by a three-game streak with the Brewers. They end the season with four against the Marlins and three against the Braves.