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Mets Morning News: deGrom is must-see TV, Mets injured pitchers progressing in rehab

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Your Sunday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

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Meet the Mets

Marcus Stroman had his first rough outing of 2021 in the Mets’ 7-1 loss to the Nationals yesterday. He lasted just four innings and gave up five runs—four of them earned—on eight hits. The poor umpiring and defense certainly did not help his cause, but this was also a case of a contact pitcher not having his best day, which tends to result in, well, contact. The newly recalled Stephen Tarpley was called upon to relieve Stroman and eat innings, but was unable to do that. He gave up two runs without recording an out, putting the game even further out of reach for the once again lifeless Mets offense, who failed to do any damage at all against Joe Ross. Robert Gsellman, Jacob Barnes, and Jeurys Familia then combined for five scoreless innings, but the only run of the game for the Mets came on a solo homer from Michael Conforto.

Choose your recap: Amazin’ Avenue short and long, Daily News, MLB.com, North Jersey, Post, Newsday, Faith and Fear in Flushing

Every Jacob deGrom outing is must-see TV at this point, writes Nick Selbe of Sports Illustrated. deGrom made history in more ways than one on Friday, including having the most strikeouts in MLB history through a player’s first four outings and becoming just the third pitcher ever to strike out at least fourteen batters in three consecutive starts.

Ken Davidoff of the Post echoed those sentiments, writing, “If you can’t appreciate what Jacob deGrom is doing here in 2021, very much including the strikeouts by the dozen, then baseball just isn’t your sport.”

But if you won’t take their word for it, you should take Dwight Gooden’s word for it. “I mean, I have my calendar marked,” Gooden said to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com about Jacob deGrom starts. “My schedule works around when he’s pitching.”

Although Jacob deGrom is stealing all the headlines from Friday’s win—and rightly so—Brandon Nimmo also had a big night, indicating that his nagging hip is feeling better.

In an attempt to become a more proficient base-stealer, Nimmo has switched from sliding feet-first to sliding head-first, according to a column from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Mike Puma published an excerpt from his upcoming book, If These Walls Could Talk: New York Mets: Stories From the New York Mets Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box, in yesterday’s Post about Noah Syndergaard’s lat injury and the doomed 2017 Mets season.

Yetserday brought some injury updates for rehabbing Mets pitchers. Both Noah Syndergaard and Drew Smith threw in an intrasquad game in Port St. Lucie. Syndergaard threw all his pitches and touched 97 mph on the radar gun; he is still on track for a mid-June return. Both Luis Rojas and Jeremy Hefner were very encouraged by what they saw from Syndergaard.

Meanwhile, Carlos Carrasco threw four innings yesterday and should still be returning in “the second week of May,” barring any setbacks, which is close to the next time the Mets will need a fifth starter again.

Dellin Betances has been shifted to the 60-day injured list.

Around the National League East

The Marlins rallied for four runs in the ninth to beat the Giants 5-2.

Marlins minor league camp has been shut down due to a COVID-19 outbreak. At least five players have tested positive.

Rhys Hoskins hit two home runs in the Phillies’ 7-5 victory over the Rockies.

Yesterday’s game between the Braves and Diamondbacks was postponed due to storms in the Atlanta area. They will play a doubleheader today.

Drew Smyly, activated from the injured list yesterday prior to the scheduled game, will take the hill for the Braves in the second game of the doubleheader. To make room for Smyly on the roster, the Braves optioned infielder Sean Kazmar Jr. to the alternate site.

Around Major League Baseball

Jake Odorizzi left yesterday’s game between the Astros and the Angels after just five pitches with tightness in his right forearm. He will be evaluated by team doctors this weekend.

The Royals activated Greg Holland from the injured list and designated former Met Brad Brach for assignment.

Corey Knebel, who had been pitching well in the Dodgers bullpen, has suffered a strained lat that will sideline him for a good chunk of the season.

Ken Davidoff of the Post did a thought experiment where he reallocated “dead” money from bad contracts to other players. In the case of the Mets, he spent Robinson Canó’s $20.25 million on Nolan Arenado and Carlos Rodon.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Chris McShane continued to track Jacob deGrom’s season, reviewing his best start yet.

To celebrate deGrom’s continued brilliance, our friends at BreakingT released a deGOAT t-shirt.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 2012, David Wright surpassed Darryl Strawberry atop the Mets leaderboard in RBIs.