CINCINNATI — The Mets’ rotation good fortune will continue in the coming days, with Chris Bassitt returning from his bout with COVID-19 to pitch against the Marlins on Friday. That pushes Max Scherzer’s next outing to Monday at Atlanta, the start of a huge NL East showdown.
Bassitt, who will have missed a week after testing positive, has been able to work out at Citi Field while sidelined.
“He’s been active, he’s been throwing,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Obviously with the COVID restrictions and the things we have to adhere to, you gotta be very careful there. When he comes in, nobody is around — took a lot of precautions. But he’s been good. He’s ready to go.”
Showalter downplayed the idea that Scherzer, the Mets’ best pitcher, lining up against Atlanta, their toughest opponent in weeks, was a nice perk. He said he would “very seldom” arrange the rotation based on the other team, “especially at this time of year.”
“Where they fall, they fall,” he said. “Respect everybody. You can’t make one game, at this stage of the season, more important than the other one. Sometimes those things change as you go forward.”
Either way, Scherzer was due for two more starts before the All-Star break, which begins July 18.
The probable pitchers for the four-game Miami series that begins Thursday: Daniel Castano versus Trevor Williams, Pablo Lopez versus Bassitt, Braxton Garrett versus Carlos Carrasco and Sandy Alcantara versus Taijuan Walker.
Showalter unhappy about start time
That the Mets’ 8-3 win against the Reds on Wednesday was at night made Showalter unhappy. Home teams typically choose start times, and series finales often are played earlier in the day to accommodate either or both teams’ travel. But not this time.
“I don’t know how they get away with it,” Showalter said before the game. “Of course we should be playing a day game today . . . The schedule is what it is. It’s still a great way to make a living, even if you don’t sleep.”
Showalter initially downplayed what impact a middle-of-the-night arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport would have on Mets players when they play the Marlins on Thursday. Then he acknowledged it does make a difference.
“Sleeping. A little lethargic. More susceptible to injury,” he said, noting it also negatively influences the quality of play and thus is not “good for the game.” “I can keep going, there’s about 10 of them.”
The Mets sent reliever R.J. Alvarez down to Triple-A Syracuse to make roster room for David Peterson, who returned from the paternity list to start Wednesday against the Reds. Alvarez was with the Mets for five days but did not appear in a game.
Travis Jankowski (broken left hand) might return to the Mets during the Atlanta series next week, Showalter said . . . Showalter on the Mets and Reds’ 53-minute rainless rain delay Tuesday: “I would’ve done the same thing. They had a huge cell that was getting ready to go, and all of a sudden it went away."