2) Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Edwin Diaz make the Mets a brutal matchup for everybody in the playoffs.
Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Edwin Diaz have a combined salary of over $91 million this season, and the three demonstrated why the Mets invested so much money in them this season, and they were all dynamite in the series against Atlanta.
Let’s start with Scherzer. Max Scherzer pitched the nightcap of the twin bill on Saturday, and had perhaps his best performance as a Met. Scherzer twirled seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits, 11 strikeouts, no walks in 108 pitches, including 80 strikes. Overall, Scherzer has a 1.98 ERA, and would be in the conversation for Cy Young if he had enough innings.
Now, deGrom. This was deGrom’s first start at Citi Field in exactly 13 months, and in a situation where the Mets were anticipating less than 100 percent from No. 48, it was 100 percent for 5.2 brilliant innings. He retired the first 17 batters to face him, including 12 strikeouts. He then tired out, giving up a walk to Ehire Adrianza then a two-run homer to Dansby Swanson to knock him out there.
Nevertheless, deGrom electrified a crowd of 37,717 in Flushing, and gave fans all the more reasons to be hyped about the stretch run. It will take a little while to stretch him out to 100 pitches, which would time well for October, but Jacob deGrom proved why he is baseball’s best pitcher when healthy.
Finally, let’s discuss Diaz. After not pitching in the five days prior to this series, an ideal goal was to pitch Diaz in three of the five games. Buck Showalter rolled the dice having Diaz pitch two innings on Thursday off long rest, and he got the save on 28 pitches. On Saturday, after the bullpen struggled to close the first game out, Showalter was forced to bring in Diaz, who then got the final two outs of that game on seven pitches. Finally, Diaz struck out the side on 14 pitches on Sunday to seal that game.
You have arguably the two best starting pitchers in baseball and the best relief pitcher in baseball, and that’s a recipe for fear for other teams.