Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets let the NL East slip away down the stretch, riling their fan base.

Now, those miffed fans are trying to make sense of the latest news — the Mets reportedly want to avoid using arguably their best player, ace Jacob deGrom, in the Wild Card Series that opens Friday against the San Diego Padres.

The New York Post reported Wednesday that the Mets are considering a plan that would see Max Scherzer start Game 1 against the Padres, and, if they win, Chris Bassitt would start Game 2 Saturday.  If they lose Game 2, deGrom would by necessity start the third and final game of the series.

But if they win, they’d then advance to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS, and deGrom would be available to make two starts in the best-of-five series.

It’s a bold plan, to be sure, trying to win a series without using the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Showalter actually employed this type of strategy a few years ago — with disastrous results. As manager of the Baltimore Orioles in 2016, he did not use ace closer Zach Britton in the Wild Card Game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Edwin Encarnación ended up hitting a walk-off three-run homer off Orioles reliever Ubaldo Jiménez in the 11th inning.

However, as manager of the New York Yankees, Showalter used a similar strategy in saving ace David Cone for a potential elimination game late in the 1995 season, and that gamble paid off.

Mets fans wasted no time on Twitter debating Showalter’s potential strategy with deGrom.

[New York Post]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.