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Mets' Devin Mesoraco returns to catch Jacob deGrom

Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco rounds the bases after

Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning at Citi Field on Sunday, Aug 5, 2018. Credit: Brad Penner

WASHINGTON — Devin Mesoraco returned to the Mets’ lineup for the first time since Sept. 3 on Friday night so he could catch Jacob deGrom, which has been a good thing for deGrom and could be a good thing for Mesoraco’s future with the Mets.

DeGrom has become super-confident about pitching to Mesoraco, who had been out with a neck injury and will be a free agent after the season. The Mets’ catching situation is unsettled for 2019, with no one from the group of Mesoraco, Kevin Plawecki, the injured Travis d’Arnaud and young Tomas Nido staking much of a claim.

So it doesn’t hurt to be the preferred catcher for the best pitcher in baseball.

“Both he and deGrom like to see him behind the plate tonight,” Mickey Callaway said of Mesoraco, who was acquired from the Reds on May 8 in a trade for Matt Harvey.

DeGrom lowered his ERA from 1.78 to 1.77 by allowing one run against Washington on Friday. Entering the game, it was 1.72 with Mesoraco behind the plate, but their bond is about more than numbers.

Mesoraco also helped at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two doubles a walk and an RBI in the Mets' 4-2 victory.

“When it comes down to it, it’s probably because he has pitched better to him than anyone else in his career,” Callaway said. “I’m sure he knows that Devin’s very, very prepared. I think Jacob likes the fact that they’re on the same page a lot with what they want to throw to the hitters. It’s kind of a good team. I think when you have success, you want to stick with what’s working.”

But will they be able to stick with it past this season? First, the Mets have to decide what to do with d’Arnaud, who played only four games before Tommy John surgery and is arbitration-eligible for next season.

Mesoraco, 30, is batting a combined .223 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs. Plawecki, 27, is hitting .215 with six homers and 27 RBIs. Nido, 24, is at .177 with one homer and eight RBIs.

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