The Mets could be getting big pieces back in their final, desperate effort to nab the second National League wild card spot.
Robert Gsellman (partially torn lat) threw a round of live batting practice Monday for the first time since his initial injury, and looked good, manager Mickey Callaway said. Dom Smith (foot) faced Gsellman — making this the first time he’s faced live pitching since getting hurt. Though Callaway wouldn’t give a timetable for either player, it’s a positive step for a team that needs to win the vast majority — if not all — of its final seven games, including Monday’s tilt against the Marlins at Citi Field. That perhaps holds true especially for Gsellman, who could spell a bullpen that’s struggled all year and lately has relied heavily on Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson.
“He looked really good out there,” Callaway said of Gsellman. “Breaking stuff looked really sharp to me. We’ll obviously see how he comes out of this and play catch tomorrow and figure out the next step in his process.”
Smith could be activated as soon as the next couple of days, depending on what a CT scan shows Wednesday.
First, Jacob deGrom inserted himself into the Cy Young Award conversation. Now, he’s dominating it. With at least one more start Wednesday, deGrom has put himself in prime position to become only the 10th pitcher to win the Cy Young in back to back years, something Callaway thinks he more than deserves.
“He has put himself in the driver seat and very well ahead of the others with so few games left,” Callaway said. “He’s in control . . . [Winning two straight Cy Youngs] would solidify what we in this room that get to see him every single day already know, that he’s probably the best pitcher in all of baseball. If you just look at him, look at his stats the last couple of years, the dominance, how deep he pitches in games, and just his presence on the mound, he’s the best pitcher in all of baseball, in my opinion, and he’s shown it the last two years.”
Through Sunday, DeGrom’s 2.51 ERA is second in the National League behind the Dodgers’ Hyun Jin-Ryu (2.41). He’s first in WHIP (0.99), third in innings pitched (197), first in WAR (6.9), first in strikeouts (248), and his defense independent ERA is 2.72, second to Max Scherzer, according to ESPN.
Another record for Pete
Pete Alonso, a heavy favorite for NL rookie of the year, had a single Monday to break the team record for most total bases in a season. His 335 total bases eclipsed David Wright’s 2008 record of 334.
Robinson Cano, who fouled a ball off his foot in Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Reds, wasn’t in the starting lineup Monday because the Mets were facing a lefthanded pitcher, but he is otherwise available, Callaway said.