The New York Mets own a 15-13 record since June 1, which is pretty good considering they've been without Jacob deGrom all season and without Max Scherzer since the second week of May. But as we approach the midway point of the 2022 season, they're getting their aces healthy.
Scherzer made a second rehab start with Double-A Binghamton (N.Y.) on Wednesday, and it went so well that he said he doesn't expect to need anymore minor league seasoning. In even more spectacular fashion, deGrom reached at least 100 mph six times for Class-A St. Lucie on Sunday, his first competition of any kind in nearly a year. Scherzer plans to return to the Mets rotation Tuesday, while deGrom — who got five outs on five strikeouts and also a hit batter — made 24 pitches and will need a little longer to simmer.
The Mets’ good news at the top of the rotation comes at a helpful time, with right-hander Chris Bassitt hitting the injured list because of COVID-19. It remains to be seen how the virus will affect Bassitt's return to the rotation. Assuming it's not a long-term issue with Bassitt, the rotation is setting up great for the Mets as the All-Star break approaches.
Entering Monday’s games, the Mets lead the Atlanta Braves by 3 1/2 games, the Philadelphia Phillies by 7 1/2 and the Miami Marlins by 11. In this week’s Power Rankings, though, the Mets slipped from second to fourth.
MLB Power Rankings
Rankings are determined by staff vote
Records and statistics are through July 3
1. New York Yankees (58-22, Last week: 1): They're 16-5 in games following a loss. Their next game is Tuesday, which means the Yankees aren't playing on the Fourth of July. Not a dandy job by the schedule maker.
2. Houston Astros (51-27, LW: 3): Very sneaky, Martin Maldonado. Very sneaky.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (49-29, LW: 4): Not only did they miss a chance to sweep the Padres, but they also lost closer Craig Kimbrel to an injury after he was struck in the back by a comebacker.
4. New York Mets (49-30, LW: 2): Venezuela native Eduardo Escobar changed the belt on his uniform three games ago and, since then, cannot stop hitting home runs. The belt is colored like a Venezuela flag — red, blue and yellow.
5. Atlanta Braves (46-34, LW: 7): Right-hander Spencer Strider's 36.2% strikeout percentage ranks in the top 2% in MLB.
6. San Diego Padres (47-34, LW: 5): Following a ninth-inning comeback against Craig Kimbrel and the Dodgers, the Padres are 47-34 at the midway point of their season. Considering everything hasn't gone their way in the first half, notably not having Fernando Tatis Jr. for a single game, they're an unqualified success.
7. Milwaukee Brewers (46-35, LW: 8): Brandon Woodruff has struck out 18 batters and walked zero in 11 innings since coming off the IL.
8. Toronto Blue Jays (44-36, LW: 9): Having a 4-4 homestand against the Red Sox and Rays was a bit disappointing.
9. Boston Red Sox (44-35, LW: 6): They have the Rays and Yankees this week at Fenway Park, followed by the Rays and Yankees on the road next week.
10. St. Louis Cardinals (44-35, LW: T10): Slugger Tyler O'Neill is rehabbing from a hamstring injury with Triple-A Memphis.
11. Minnesota Twins (45-37, LW: 12): The young fan who caught Byron Buxton's game-ending home run Saturday met the hitter Sunday.
12. Tampa Bay Rays (43-36, LW: T10): They scored 24 runs in winning the final three games of a series at Toronto.
13. Philadelphia Phillies (41-38, LW: 15): With much of the rotation ailing, ace Zack Wheeler threw seven shutout innings against the Cards on Sunday.
14. Cleveland Guardians (40-36, LW: 14): Triston McKenzie, Eli Morgan and Emmanuel Clase combined on a one-hit shutout of the Yankees on Sunday.
15. San Francisco Giants (40-37, LW: 13): The Giants were swept by the White Sox at Oracle Park over the weekend. They also lost Anthony DeSclafani to season-ending ankle surgery.
16. Chicago White Sox (38-39, LW: 17): They could scramble the American League Central race with a three-game sweep of the Twins at home this week.
17. Seattle Mariners (39-42, LW: 20): Julio Rodriguez won AL Rookie of the Month for June, hitting six home runs and scoring 20 times.
18. Texas Rangers (37-40, LW: 16): Jonah Heim's development at the plate has been one of the brighter stories of the Rangers' season.
19. Miami Marlins (37-40, LW: 21): Jesús Sánchez was clutch with a ninth-inning dinger to beat the Nationals. Afterward, he said: “I believe in myself."
20. Baltimore Orioles (36-44, LW: 18): Right-hander Tyler Wells has a 3.09 ERA in 16 starts, one reason the Orioles have improved by 10 games in the W-L column over a year ago.
21. Los Angeles Angels (37-44, LW: 19): Shohei Ohtani had an 11-game hitting streak and a 1.52 ERA in June.
22. Arizona Diamondbacks (35-44, LW: 22): David Peralta hit a grand slam and Zac Gallen had a shutout going into the sixth inning at Coors Field, but the D-backs still fell to the Rockies.
23. Chicago Cubs (32-47, LW: 26): Slugger Seiya Suzuki, out for over a month with a finger injury, returned to the lineup Monday.
24. Colorado Rockies (35-44, LW: 23): C.J. Cron hit his 18th and 19th home runs on Sunday and is the only Rockies batter having a significantly above-average season at the plate, but there's talk of a trade because Colorado is so far away from contention that it doesn't make sense to build around a 32-year-old first baseman. Although, it would be nice for the fans to have someone to watch.
25. Pittsburgh Pirates (32-47, LW: 24): Rookie infielder Oneil Cruz is putting on a show — on defense, too.
26. Washington Nationals (29-52, LW: 28): You don't like to hear things like Juan Soto leaving the game with calf tightness, but it's what the Nats are dealing with right now.
27. Detroit Tigers (30-47, LW: 25): Rookie Riley Greene went deep for the first time, and it was a walk-off shot.
28. Kansas City Royals (29-48, LW: 27): Vinnie Pasquantino has arrived from the minors, and he's already gone deep.
29. Cincinnati Reds (27-51, LW: 29): Good news — Shortstop Kyle Farmer got back negative X-rays on his hand after being hit with a 100 mph fastball by Spencer Strider.
30. Oakland Athletics (26-55, LW: 30): They're closer to realizing a new ballpark in Oakland.