Report: Mets Plan to Start Scherzer Game 1 vs. Padres; May Hold deGrom Out Until NLDS

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIOctober 5, 2022

ATLANTA, GA  OCTOBER 01: New York starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) throws a pitch during the MLB game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves on October 1st, 2022 at Truist Park in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Mets plan to start Max Scherzer on Friday in Game 1 of their National League Wild Card Round series against the San Diego Padres, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The Mets are also "contemplating a strategy" to preserve Jacob deGrom for Game 1 of a potential National League Division Series, which would be against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, deGrom could start for the Mets in Game 2 of the Wild Card Round (if they lose Game 1) or Game 3 (if they lose Game 2).

Chris Bassitt would go for the Mets in Game 2 if New York wins Game 1.

The Mets apparently want to save one of their aces for a potential series against the Dodgers, who had an MLB-best 110-51 record entering Wednesday.

If the Mets sweep the Padres with Scherzer and Bassitt on the mound, then deGrom, a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, could face L.A. in Games 1 and 5 (if necessary).

As Sherman noted, though, the Mets haven't said publicly what they plan to do for the Padres series. Rest isn't an issue, as Scherzer and deGrom haven't pitched since Saturday and Friday against the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets were in position to skip the Wild Card Round and head right to the NLDS after leading the NL East for the vast majority of the year, but Atlanta got scorching hot in the second half and swept New York in that key weekend series to vault into first place. The Braves await the winner of the Philadelphia Phillies-St. Louis Cardinals series.

The Mets seemingly face a much tougher draw, needing to beat the Padres twice to head to L.A. to face a dominant club. Still, co-aces Scherzer and deGrom will certainly give New York a chance as it seeks its first World Series title since 1986.

Game 1 against San Diego is set for Flushing's Citi Field at 8:07 p.m. ET Friday.


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